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UL N2' i2965


(4th Armd iv Iithe SARR-MOSELLE Area)

Armor versus mud and mines. Armored School

student research report. 1950.

This Document
S" NO.N-2146.56 COPY NO. 1

CGSC Form 160 Army-CGSC-P2-1798-7 Mar 52-5M

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Prepared at
Fort Knox Kentucky
13 51950 1949r

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1949 - 1950











"This division will attack and
attack, and if an order is ever
given to fall back, the order
ill not come from me."

Quotation from a talk before

the 4th Armored Division by Gen
±Wood, Division Commander, on the
morning of 15 November 1943.

Major General John S. Wood

Aggressive warfare requires constant pressure

on the enemy, /Commanders must at times demand opera-
tions under the most unfavorable circumstances of
terrain and weather, and with little regard to the
characteristics of the forces at hand. This is unfor-
tunate but it is war.

Such were thle operations of the Fourth: Armored

Division in the Sarre-..oselle area in the winter of
1944, They show what courage and determination can ac-
complish in an extremely difficult situation. Beyond
that, they furnish only a classical example o.f the man-
ner in which armored divisions should never be employed,
if avoidable. LIt is hoped that better balancng of for-
ces and better conceptions of battle will prevent any
such use of armor in the future.

Commanding General,
Fourth Armored Division

This report of research study is prepared to present an

evaluated analysis of the actions of an armored division during

a most difficult combat mission. The peculiarities of the action

include weather and terrain definitely in favor of the defense;

the attacking armored division being employed against constantly

changing objectives; and, finally, the direction of attack being

frequently altered. Stripped of the capability of maneuver, the

division was forced into a bitter series of fire-fights on all

sides. Accordingly, the narrative description to follow may be

likened to that of a boxing contest, in short, a slugfest.

In this narrative is the picture of the action of the

4th Armored Division as made available in After Action Reports

of Units, Unit Histories, captured enemy documents, reports of

interviews with enemy personnel, and personal interviews with

participating personnel.

The reader will find that the 4th Armored Division met

problems during this operation that it had heretofore not en-

countered in its advance across France or during training in

the United States and the United Kingdom. As an example, weather

and terrain conditions as encountered in the SARRE during the

winter of 1944 were never experienced during the division's

maneuver training in Tennessee, or its subsequent lajave Desert

training. It is rare in United States Army training that

prolonged maneuvers are conducted in extremely rainy, cold

periods. Furthermore, due to the resulting damage, it is

seldom during rainy periods of maneuvers that heavy equipment,

such as tanks, operate' over farmlands, extensive open areas

and secondary roads. Due to these specific problems, expected

successes of this operation were not achieved. However, as a

result, it is quite apparent that the 4th Armored Division

added materially to their combat know-how and emerged from

the action a more seasoned and formidable fighting unit. Muvch

has been learned from their efforts which has contributed to

our present doctrine.

With acknowledgment to all those who contributed to

this report, it is the intent of the preparing committee that

the information contained herein might, in some measure, give

the reader a fuller appreciation of the combat problems of a

famous fighting division.,


Chapter Page

1 INTRODUCTION . ,.... ... . ..*. .. . . ..... ... ...... .. 1

Historical Backgrkund of the 4th Armored Division 2

The WTestern Front in November 1944 (Allied

Troops) ... .... . . .. , ... ,... ,.......... 7

The Enemy Situation - General."., ........ ,.... 9

2 PREPARATION FOR THE ATTACK . . . ,, . .. . . . . . . . . ... 13


Dispositions in the XII Corps Zone........ 14


Enemy situation in the XII Corps Zone..... 15

XII Corps Plan for the Attack.....,..... 16

4th Armored Division Plan for Attack,..... 17

3 APPROACHING THE SARRE..... ........... *....... .9 .

8 November 1944" .... ... . .. *.

9 November 1944.. .. .. ., 9
. .o Co
o. . . .*o

10 November 1944, . 9 9 ., .9, , * .

"",9.i. 99
" 9

. * .. *. r . .

11 November 1944.
*' 9999 9

12 November 1944. 9 . . 9e . . .9

* t * * * , C. * *
13 November 1944.
.. . .9 9 . . * 9 9999
9999 9 9 * 9 9
14 November 1944. . *

15 November 1944.

16 November 1944. . .. , , . .9 . . . . . ....... " .99

17 November 1944.. .,,. 39

18 November 1944. ., . . .. 9 9 o 9. 9 . . . 9 . .. 39

Chapter Page

19 November 1944 ., ......... 40

20 November 1944....... ,... 41

21 November. 194 4. .. 42


19 November 1944...... 46
20 November 1944...... * * «. 9 .
* « *f
, i..
t . « .

21 November 1944.,...,. .. ........ . . 47

* ** * *^
22 November. 1944..... 49
.r * .....*i , 1
* ** *
23 November 1944..... ......
* I
I i * .I II
I .I i
II * '
I i. i i
i i
**,« *;
24 November 1944....... S. . I Ii ii I41 l l I 141. I 51
p* e9,
* *
25 November 1944....... 53



26 Novembel r 1944.." ., .. r . . . .. .. 99-. . *9 56

r 1944...........
27 Novenber 1944, . .. , . . 9 * 999. .. 9 9 * . 58

28 November .. , . , ., , . 9, 9 9 60

29 November 1944,,,... . . ... i, * . *. ,i« ,ii * * * * * .. , f 61

30 November 1944............. S ..... -. , 64

December 1944 ,. ..... .. ....... 65

December 1944. .. , . . . .
1944. .............. 0a .. .* .. .. .. 9.9. 9 66
1944. . .. . , 9.. . .....
December 68
1944 .... , ,......* . . i.

December 1944...,, ... * ., 69

December 1944 ... ..... . .... 71

December 1944. . , . . ., ,,... ,.. .** •* 9**, .

* 73
7 necember 1944..... .. . ,,..., ,....... ., 75

Chapter Page

6 S rTY.. . ... ..... ................ . . .. ..... 79

Employment of the 4th Armored Division., 80

* . 9. **)t*

Conclusions,,. .. ., , .. . **. 85
*. .f. 9"*7

Recommendations ,..... ............... 87

ANNEX 1, PRONNEL..... ... . ....... .. ...... ...... .* ......

.n~ INTELLIENCE .......... - t ... .. ,,, ..
.... ,... .. 4..

ANNEX III, LOGISTICS.,.......... ........ . ..... ........ , ..... 108



This narrative deals with the combat role of an armored

division- stripped of its characteristic of mobility. The attack

of the U. S. XII Army Corps in the SARRE on 8 November 1944 was

launched in surroundings which seemed more suitable for a naval

battle. Streams were flooded and soils were saturated from

weeks of incessant precipitation. Participating in this attack

was the 4th Armored Division, in conjunction with the 35th

Infantry and the 26th Infantry Divisions. The 4th Armored

Division was one of the most efficient armored units in the

Army of the United States. Indeed, this division was the only

armored division ever to receive the Presidential Unit Citation.

Considering then the distinguished record of this unit which is

the principal subject of our narrative, the 4th Armored Division

was launched into a sea of mud and serves as an outstanding

example of armor at a distinct disadvantage, The loss of

maneuverability due to weather conditions and terrain limits

armored action to almost a one tank front, the lead tank on a

road. Surprise and mass are almost impossible to achieve, The

chances for exploitation of local successes are reduced. The

chances for failure are excellent. The action of the 4th Armored

Division which fought under these conditions in its offensive

of 9 November 1944 is one not remembered too favorably by most

of its members. It is a story of bitter, grim fighting in mud

and rain; a situation confronting the entire corps,

It was a role difficult for armor to portray and one

for which an armored division seldom trains, An exanmination

of the background of the 4th Armored Division shows how this

combat role was at variance with its previous training and

combat experience, tJ-J

-< . Ds, 9 .

Historical Background of the 4th Armored Division

The 4th Armored Division is a product of this war,

and upon its activation had no previous history or tradition.

It was activated at Pine Camp, New York, on 15 April 1941.

Fort Knox, homw of the Armored Force and 1st Armored Division,

was the source of the cadre for the 4th Armored Division, The

first commander was Brigadier General (later Major General)

Henry Welles Baird. The division upon activation, was made

up of an armored brigade headquarters, three armored regiments,

one infantry regiment, one artillery regiment, one engineer

battalion, one medical battalion, one quartermaster battalion,

and one signal company. By 25 May 1941, filler replacements

had been received and the division began its initial training

cycle. On 5 January 1942 the division underwent reorganization;

The revamped division consisted of the 35th and 37th Armored

Regiments, each with medium and light tanks; the 51st Armored

Infantry Regiment; the 24th Armored Engineer Battalion; the

46th. Armored Medical Battalion; the 84th Armored Reconnaissance

Battalion; the 22d, 66th, and 94th Armored Field lrtillery

Battalions; the 4th Armored Maintenance and Supply Battalion;

the 144th Armored Signal Company; Division Headquarters and

Headquarters Company; Division Service Company; Trains

Headquarters and Service Company; and two Combat Commands.

During its first year of organization, the 4th Armored

Division furnished over 1000 officers and men as cadre for

the 5th and 9th Armored Divisions.

General Baird retired in May 1942 and was replaced

by Brigadier General (later Major General) John S. Vood A

former football player at iWest Point, this hearty, brawny

general was to mark the 4th Armored indelibly with his

aggressive, inspiring leadership. Under their new commander,

the men of the 4th participated in the Second Arry maneuvers

near Camp Forrest, Tennessee, during October and November 1942,.

Imrediately upon conclusion of the Second Army maneuvers, the

4th Armored Division moved to the California Desert Training

Center. For seven months the division engaged in combined

arms training and maneuvers in the desert. In June 1943 the

4th Armored Division moved to Camp Bowie, Texas where insued

a period of physical conditioning, battle conditioning, and

maneuvers. In early September 1943 the 4th was reorganized

into the numerically smaller and more compact "light"' armored

division, consisting mainly of three tank battalions, three

armored infantry battalions, and three armored field artillery


On 15 November 1943 General Wood assembled the division

and announced that the 4th Armored had been alerted for overseas

shipment. On 29 December 1943 the division sailed from Boston,

Landing in WALES on 8 January 1944, the division saw the wreckage

of war for the first time. After further training in ENGLAND,

the division landed on CHERBOURG PENINSULA on 12 July 1944.

Upon reaching France, the division was attached to VIII Corps

of the First United States Army.

The training of this division had been most thorough.

It had learned the lessons of unit training well and practiced

them in the Tennessee maneuvers. The time spent in the desert

training area not only helped perfect the operating techniques

but alsb served as a final break of domestic ties for its

members. The time spent in Texas and the United Kingdom can

be described as final combat preparations. Observers of the

division during combat were impressed by its high state of

discipline, by the efficiency of its operation, by the high

morale of its members, and above all, by the presence of that

intangible team outlook called "Esprit de Corps." Leadership?

Yes, good leadership was present in all echelons of coimand as

evidenced by the attainment of the goals mentioned above.

Consideration must, however, be given to certain practices that

are characteristic of training in the U. S. Army. First, that

it is seldom that prolonged maneuvers are conducted in extremely

rainy, cold periods. Personnel conditioned to survive the rigors

of all other types of weather may easily fall prey to this type.

The U. S. Army, in general, neglected to stress in its preparation

the dangers of trench foot, even though it was a major enemy in

World War I. It might be assumed that high level planners did

not expect the operations to be similar to those of tWorld War I

and therefore thought the trench foot malady would not be present.

In failing to stress the prevention of trench foot sufficiently,

the training of the 4th Armored Division was no more or less

adequate than that of most units participating in the European

Theater. Secondly, due to the resulting damage to real estate

and equipment, it is seldom during raing riods of maneuvers

that heavy equipment, such as tanks, operate over farmlands,

extensive open areas, and secondary roads. Consequently, maneuvers

fail to provide this important phase of training and many units

had to obtain experience (in coping with mud) on the battlefield

and learn to overcome these handicaps efficiently or suffer


The 4th Arrored Division relieved the 4th Infantry

Division north of RAIDS and just south of CARE1TON on 12 July

1944. after ten days in static warfare, the division attacked

toward COUTANCES on 28 July 1944. On 1 August the Third U. S.

Army became operational, and the 4th Armored Division was

assigned to it. From 1 August until the first wcek of September

1944, the division made armored history by cutting off the

BRITTANY PENINSULA and executing a 700-mile exploitation

across the heart of FRAINCE. After being halted because of

supply shortages, the 4th Armored attacked across the 1OSELLE

on 11 September 1944. The establishment of the XII Corps

bridgehead to the east of the MOSELLE kept the division

occupied until 12 October 1944. During this period the 4th

Armored participated in one of the largest armored battles of

the Western Front. Engaging two Panzer brigades and a Panzer

division, the 4th Armored destroyed 281 German tanks in the

general area from which the assault was launched. As the

action begins on 9 November 1944, the 4th Armored Division had

emerged from its first three months of combat, a proved veteran

division with a distinguished record. In a message received

14 October 1944 from General Eddy, commanding XII Corps, to

General Wood, 4th Armored Division Commander, the actions were

described as follows:

.... The Germans are frightened by your superior eouipment,

frightened by your more skillful tactics, and above all,
frightened by your magnificent courage and ill to win.
Since the beginning of your historic drive through ORLEANS
to the east, the 4th Armored Division has met its assigned
tasks with the greatest distinction. In the establishing,
defend in , kand enlarging of our bridgehead across the
MOSELLE, all members of the division have conducted them-
selves in a manner of which they may well be proud. 4
The Western Front in November 1944
(Disposition of Allied Troops)

SHEAF planned and announced (in October 1944) a winter

campaign of a succession of sledge-hammer assaults along the

5 Twenty-first Army Group was to att&ck
entire ZiVestern Front.

south from the ARNHEK-NIJiEGEN area; Ninth U. S. Army was to

attack to the RHINE in the GEILENKIRCHEN area, turn north in

conjunction with assault of the Twenty-first Army Group; First

U. S. Army was grouped for an attack'to the RHINE in the

BONN-KOLN area; Third U. S. Army was to attack to the RHINE in

the MINZ-FRANKFORT-DA RSTAOT area; and the Sixth Army Group

was to attack north from the VOSGES in conjunction with the

attack of Third U. S. Army. This general offensive was to take

place beginning 5 November 1944 with the assault of the First

U. S. k rmy, (See Figure 1)

It continued to rain 8 November 1944 along the entire

length of the Western Front. On this date the entire Allied

force was still poised to strike, operations having been delayed

beyond 5 November due to the weather. Favorable positions had

been secured as the result of much jockeying and probing. The

First Canadian Army of the Twenty-first Army Group had finished

clearing the approaches to the ANTWERP area. Twenty-first

Army Group occupied a sector generally from ARNHEM to MAASThICT

and MAESYCUCK. Ninth U. S. Army was disposed from the Twenty-

first Army Group boundary to ESCHWEILER. First U. S. Army, that

had recently captured AACHEN, was extended from the ESCHVEILER

area to ECHTERNACH and REMICH. Third U. S. Army occupied an

area from the First U. S. Army boundary to a point on the

RHIN-AU-VMRNE CANAL just west of XURES. The Sixth Army Group

covered the area from XURES south to the SWISS border.. 5

Third Army, consisting of the XII and XX Corps, had

been set to attack at any time from 5 to 8 November. XX Corps,

on the north, consisting of the 10th Armored Division, 90th

Infantry Division, 95th Infantry Division, 5th Infantry Division,

and 3d Mechanized Cavalry Group, was to encircle LETZ and seize

crossings over the RHINE in the MiAINZ area. This assault was

to jump off in the area from REUltCH to CHEMINOT. XII Corps,,

occupying the southern sector of the Third.Arny zone, was ready

to jump off along its entire front, .extending from CHEUINOT to

the RHIN-UMU-BANE CANAL near XURES. The corps was made up of

the 6th Armored Division, 4th Armored Division, 26th Infantry

Division, 35th Infantry Division, 80th Infantry Division, and

the 2d kechanized Cavalry Group. Bombing strikes had been

allocated to First U. S. Army and Third U.. S. Army.

November ensued in a very sodden manner in the SARRE-

I'OSELLE area in 1944. Cold winter rain had fallen for three

weeks during October and continued into November. The zone of

advance was a vast quagmire of engulfing mud, innumerable

inundations, and -flooded streams. Airplanes were not able to

render the scheduled bombing missions and attacks were postponed

day after day from the SWISS border to ARNHEL. On 7 November

General Patton announced to his staff, "Tomorrow we attack; no

conditions and no doubts. So far we haven't had the weather we

had hoped for, and the weather people say we won't get it

tomorrow." 7 The weather people were so right. After a thunderous

artillery preparation, XII Corps jumped off in the rain on the

morning of 8 November 1944. XX Corps followed on the 9th of

November. This assault, without air support, was the first blow

struck in the winter offensive on the Western Front in 1944-1945.

The assault caught the enemy by surprise. Weather and

terrain conditions were so adverse the Germans did not expect

a large scale assault. While the adverse weather made initial

surprise possible, it later played strongly into the enemy's

hands. Movement and operations were hampered and the Germans

defending the MOSELLE and the SAPRE recovered quickly and

resisted stubbornly and effectively.

The Enemy Situation, General

Up to November 1944, the German Army had been kept in

constant running retreat. The Allies, in preparing for the

winter offensive, had necessarily slowed down, which, in turn,

gave the enemy a much needed opportunity to reorganize their

battered forces and take stock of themselves. This was general

along the entire front. The enemy forces opposing the Third

U. S.
S. Ary, while initially surprised by the opening of the
L. %e~D


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winter offensive, found themselves capable of putting up a

tenacious fight for every foot of ground. The German forces

facing the Third U. S. Army at this time were estimated to

number 42,500 troops. Lajor elements were six infantry divisions,

the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division, and five fortress infantry

machine gun battalions. The 11th Panzer Division constituted

the enemy reserve and was not in immediate contact until after

8 November. A large number of German troops were engaged in

defending METZ against the XX Corps. 8

(Chapter 2 discusses the

German disposition more in detail).

The enemy made an intelligence estimate of the situation

as follows: Due to the regrouping of our divisions and the trace

of the front lines he expected our next move to be a pincer attack

against IETZ with the strategic objective being the SARRE district;

the anticipated prongs of the pincer movement would strike between


enemy appreciated three facts: one, the terrain in this region

favored the defense; two, the weather aggrevated the condition

of the terrain to the point where mass attacks by our tanks would

be impossible; and third, the nearly constant overcase would

keep our air corps off their backs. One condition, however,

was imposed upon the German forces which to a large measure

counteracted the three above mentioned advantages. This was

constituted in Hitlert s order that not an inch of ground was

to be given up without a fight. Therefore, recommendations

by German commanders for tactical improvements and shortening

of front lines were almost always refused by the German High

9, 10

Thus was the general friendly and enemy situation just

prior to the Allied winter offensive. It is now well to consider

the situation that confronted the XII Corps and the part played

by the 4th Armored Division in the preparation of plans for

pushing across the SARRE RIVER and on to GERMANY.


1 The Fourth Armored Division.

Captain Kenneth Koyen,
(Munich, Germany, Herder-Druck, 1946) pp 158-170.

2Ibid p 8.

3 (Washington, Army
Combat Divisions of World War II.
Times, 1946) P 78.
4 Captain Kenneth Koyen.
0p cit

Report by the Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs
of Staff on the Operations in Europe of the Allied Expeditionary
Force, 6 June 1944 to 8 kay 1945, a report prepared by General
of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, (Washington: Goverment Print-
ing Office, 1946) p 73.
After Action Report, Third U. S. Army, 1 August 1944
to 9 May 1945, Volume I, p 126.


8bid pp. 123, 126, 134, 136, 141, 144.

The Employment of the llth Panzer Division in Lorraine,
Rhineland, Part II, a report by Gen Lt Wend vonrIietersheim,
10 January 1947.
10G-2 Periodic Report #86, XII Corps, 7-8 November 1944.


The Third U. S. Army planned a winter offensive in

the SARRE-MOSELLE in October 1944. When Letter of Instructions

No. 10, 12th Army Group, dated 21 October 1944, directed the

offensive of the three armies subordinated to it, Third Army

needed only supplies and personnel replacements to be ready.

It had been saving and buildingi up ammunition supplies pending

a further advance to the east. Information collecting agencies

of the army redoubled their efforts to fix accurately the com-

position of German forces in the SARRE-MOSELLE area. Photo

coverage of the area was intensified. The air strike allocated

Third Army was planned in accordance with the latest intelligence.

Remaining ammunition supplies needed to complete the requirement

for the attack were received 6 November 1944. Instructions and

orders were issued and commanders were oriented at Army Headquarters.

The Army Commander personslly exhorted each division to press the

attack through a series of addresses to assembled officers and

noncommissioned officers. Except for adverse weather, the Third

U. S. Army was ready. It intended to disregard the shortage of

personnel replacements.

Preparations for the attack within the XII Corps included

the bombing of the dam containing the lake, ETiNG DE LINDRE, near

DIUEZE, on 20 October, to prevent a sudden surprise flooding by

the Germans. 2
The two armored divisions of the corps were pulled
out of the line for rehabilitation, refitting, maintenance, and

special training. The special training consisted of practice

attacks of fortified positions and firing of weapons, including

new flame throwers. Infantry divisions in the line were rotating

selected personnel through similar training programs. Plans

were revised and necessary instructions issued. A tremendous

artillery preparation was scheduled, so that the- initial attack

would have maximum support. Ammunition was stockpiled in attack

positions. Except for shortages of winter clothing (including

overshoes--an important item) and personnel replacements, all

was ready on the corps level.

4th Armored Division had been relieved by 26th Infantry

Division on 12 October and moved into bivouac in the area

REMEREVILLE4i-AUCOUiT-LENONCOURT. In the bivouac area maintenance,

refitting, and training was the order of the day. Units were

organized into assault teams and attacks of fortified positions

were practiced. In anticipation of bad weather, all vehicles

on the medium tank chassis were equipped with locally manu-

factured extensions, or duckbills. On 2 November the armored

infantry and armored engineers received new portable flame

throwers and orientation firing was conducted. i limited amount

of new type sleeping bags were received and distributed. Final

plans were revised and personnel oriented and reoriented, On

8 November, rested and eager, the 4th Armored was ready.

Dispositions in the XII Corps Zone

On 8 November the XII Corps boundary on the north ran

generally along the line PONT A OUSSON-ZINING-ST AVOLD-FORBACK-

'SARREBRUECKEN. The boundary on the south ran generally along


FEETRANGE-BURBACK-NORTHERONN. The corps front extended from

contact with XX Corps on the north in the vicinity of CHEINOT


MONCJURT and to contact with the XV Corps of seventh Army at

the iA.RNE-AU-RHIN CANAL one kilometer west of XURES. The

divisions of the corps were disposed as follows: 80th Infantry

Division occupied a sector from vicinity of CHEXINOT to CHENICCURT;

35th Infantry Division from CHENICOURT to CH iBREY; 26th Infantry

Division from CHA,. iBEY to MANE-AU-RHIN CANAL near XUhES. The

4th Armored Division was assembled in the rear of the 26th Infantry

Division, and the 6th Armored Division in rear of the 35th Infantry


Enemy Situation in the XII Corps Zone 4 ' 5 6

Three divisions, two infantry and one armored, plus units

of two other infantry divisions, together with a number of miscel-

laneous units, opposed the XII Corps when it launched its attack

on 8 November. The strength of these forces totaled an estimated

22,500, with the combat strength estimated to be 17,500. An

estimated 4,000 were in reserve. Due to the activity of pre-

paring for this offensive on the part of our forces, the enemy
moved the aforementioned armored division out of army reserve

into XII Corps sector?7 Thus, the estimated total pieces of

armor on the XII Corps front rose from an estimated 20 to 90.

This armored division, the 11th Panzer, had 60 tanks and 10

tank destroyers when it rolled into the area north of ORHANGE

on 8 November. Enemy units in the line from north to south

were as follows: Elements of the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier

Division; 1431st Fortress Battalion; elements of the 48th

Infantry Division; the entire 559th Volks Grenadier Division;

the entire 361st Volks Grenadier Division; with the entire 11th

Panzer Division in reserve at M0RHkNGE.8 (See Figure 2)

XII Corps Plan for the Attack 9

See Figure 3)

The key terrain features in the XII Corps z ne were the

DELME RIDGE in the zone of the 80th Infantry Division,. and the

CHATEAU SiALINS FOREST in the zone of the 35th Infantry Division.

Accordingly, the plan of attack provided for the 6th Armored

Division to move in conjunction with the 80th Division to initially

secure the DEL3E RIDGE and prodeed to seize the high ground in

the vicinity of FLQUE vONT, The 4th Arrmored Division meanwhile

was to attack in the zone of and in conjunction with the 35th

Division, secure the forest of CHATEAU SALINS and proceed to

seize high ground northeast of MORFH .NGE. The 26th Infantry

Division was to attack in its zone, seizing the high ground

northeast of LIDEZING. The 2d Cavalry Group, attached to the

ON 8NOV 1944
1 y.I T~'S FSTT,0 V13D
17 33P rn l
4z3Th Div gr aes-2,000

Voiks Gren Div ,0

METI 559
361j" o
+is fren iv $Y e 3,500
Total. 17,500


11 PZ


,00 Yxb 3"1

-,-et &
26th Division, was to secure the right (south) flank of the

corps. Thus, the initial corps objective included the favorable

terrain running north to south from FALQUEMONT through MORHANGE

to LIDREZING. The corps main objective was to secure a bridge-

head over the RHINE RIVE= between OPPENHEI. and JMANNHEk., and

in conjunction, seize DARISTiDT. The corps plan further provided

for the three infantry divisions to establish firm bridgeheads

over the SEILLE IVE-R and the two armored divisions to attack

through to exploit any local successes. The attack was to be

preceded by a three-and-a-half-hour artillery preparation,

which included every field piece with the corps, and captured

German guns and ammunition.

4th Armored Division Plans for Ittack1 0 , 11

In conformance with the XII Corps plan of attack, the

4th Armored Division planned to attack in a column of combat

command s, Combat Command B leading. Combat Command B bein _

constituted as an assault command, was to attack and drive as

far as possible until forced to fully deploy. 'Then this occurred,

Combat Command A was to attack through Combat Command B and

maintain the momentum of the attack. The -division was to advance

south of DEL

VILLER and BENIN\TG. Combat Command, B planned to attack in two

columns. Task Force Churchill, consisting mainly of a reinforced

tank battalion, was to advance on an axis M~I~tAUCOUlT-LEdONCOUT-









Maybach, consisting mainly of a reinforced armored infantry

battalion, was to advance on an axis JALLAUCOthT-O;IOCOURT-


ORHANGE was the initial division objective,. The division was

to be prepared to advance to the northeast and seize crossings

over the RHINE iRIVER in the 1kANNHEIM area. The artillery with

Combat Command B was placed under the 177th Field Artillery

Group, which was to serve as combat command artillery during

the attack. Division artillery was to control the artillery

with Combat Command -. in a role similar to that of the 177th

Field Artillery Group when the combat commands were widely

separated. Thenever possible, division artillery would control

and mass the fires of all the artillery with the division. All

the artillery with the division was massed in position to support

the jump-off. A platoon from each battalion was to be left in

old positions to continue firing and conceal this movement.

Throughout the operation, it was planned to use Combat Commands

A and B as operational commands. Reserve Command was to be a

command through which units would be rotated for rehabilitation,

maintenance, and refitting. The Command was not to be committed

except in emergencies. The line of departure was to be the road

LEiONCOURT to OXIOCOURT, which the 35th Infantry Division was to

secure. Time of attack was 090600 November 1944. Attack positions

were selected close to the line of departure. The routes to the

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attack positions were along an axis RE EREVILL -ThIZtRULLES-

LIANFROICOURT. Briefing Was thorough; all company commanders

received detailed instructions.

It will be noted from the plan of attack that XII Corps

maintained no reserve. It was throwing all its forces in the

initial assault. Obviously it expected overwhelming initial

success. The division attacking in a column of combat commands

obviously expected to be able to mass its power at any one point,

to penetrate and to exploit the results of the overwhelming

firepower it possessed. The objectives selected and the enormity

of the preparations certainly were based on expectations of deep

penetrations. The few things that accrued to work against these

expectations were: the stubborn enemy; the lack of good weather;

the shortage of some winter supplies and personnel replacements.

The final preparation for the attack has been covered in

the foregoing chapter. The attack by XII Corps on 8 November

1944 set the stage for the drive by the 4th Armored Division

toward the SARRE on the following day. The next chapter will

deal with the first of three phases of the divisions operations.

covered by this report. The committee chose to call the phase

"tApproaching the Sarre."


Alfter action Report, Third U. S. Army, 1 August 1944 -

9. May 1945, Volume I.
Lt Col George Dyer, XII Corps, Spearhead of Pattonts
Third Army, (Baton Rouge, La., Army-Navy Publishing Company p 246.


After Action Report, XII Corps, November 1944, G-2
Summary, Period 1 November - 1 December 1944, Section III,
Annexes 1 and 2.

5G-2 Periodic Report #89, XII Corps, 11 November 1944.

6G-2 Periodic Report h87, XII Corps, 9 November 1944.

7The Employment of the llth Panzer Division in Lorraine,

Rhineland, Part II, a report by Gen Lt Wend von Wietersheim,
10 January 1947, pp 2-4.

Intelligence Summary from G-2 Report -104, 4th Armored

Division, 26-27 November 1944, Item 167, FS 600-86, Reel 8.

90 citt Lt Col George Dyer, p 250.

Personal Interview, Lt Col Robert M,. Parker, Jr.,
Command and Staff Department, The Armored School, Fort Knox,

llCaptain Kenneth Koyen, The Fourth Armored Division.

(kunich, Germany, Hered-Druck, 1947.


The 4th Armored Division attack on 9 November 1944


The stubborn defense by the German infantry divisions and the

11th Panzer Division, assisted by the rain and mud, succeeded

in blunting the armored attack and halting it at critical

points. Although the attack fell short of establishing a

bridgehead across the SARRE RIVER, the 4th Armored Division,

together with the 35th and 26th Infantry Divisions, captured

ORHANGE and secured positions from which the armor was able to

LAUNCH an attack that was to carry it across the SARRE. (See

Figure 4)

8 November 1944

On 8 November 1944, at 0600 hours, the XII Corps attacked

along its entire front. By dark the 26th Infantry Division had

forced crossings over the SEILLE RIVER at VIC-SUR-SEILLE and at

MOYENVIC. During the day the 35th Infantry Division captured

JALLAUCOURT and MiiLAUCOURT-SUR-SEILLE, and the 80th Infantry

Division secured crossings of the SEILLE RIVL in the vicinity

of EPLY and ALNOIS-SUR-SEILLE. As contemplated in the corps

plan, XII Corps issued orders directing the movement and attack

by the 4th and 6th Armored Divisions on the following day.

This. directive specified that the 4th Armored Division would

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move at 0530 hours on 9 November, using the routes prescribed in

Field Order Number 10, and gave the division priority on the roads

in the 35th Division sector.l

Dring the afternoon the 11 Panzer Division closed into

an assembly area north of kORIHNGE. As the American artillery

preparation and the initial assault had disorganized his front

line infantry divisions, the enemy made plans to commit one task

force of the Panzer Division, consisting of the 111th Panzer

Grenadier Regiment, supported by tanks and artillery, in the

direction of DEL .J. The other task force, built around the

110th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, moved through the northern part


9 November 1944

Combat Command B, 4th Armored Division, commanded by

Brigadier General Homes Dager moved out on the morning of

9 November, using the route through the villages of ERBEVILLER,

MAZERULLES, and BEY, to NANHOUE where the column split. The north

column, consisting of the 8th Tank Battalion (reinforced) (See

Figure 5), commanded by Lajor Thomas F. Churchill, encountered enemy

resistance to the east of iALAUCOURT, consisting mostly of mines,

road blocks, and antitank fire. Excellent air support, which was

permitted by cloar weather during the afternoon, aided in reducing

these obstacles, The column pushed on throu hi LEJIONCOURT, Where

it was delayed by mines and a concrete road block. By dark it had

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cleared VIVIERS and assembled in the vicinity of HINNOCOURT.

The south column composed of the 51st 'irmored Infantry

Battalion (reinforced) (See Figure 5), commanded by Lieutenant

Colonel Alfred M. iaybach, first encountered resistance in the

woods south of ORIOCOURtT, where it lost one 75-mm assault gun

and one half-track to enemy fire. After clearing the woods and

the village of 0PIOCOURT, it came under antitank fire as it

approached LANEUVEVILLE EN SAULNOIS, where it lost two more

assault guns. Upon reaching the outskirts of FONTENY, the column

was met by withering fire from 20-mm antiaircraft guns, antitank

guns, and mortars. Tanks of the 1lth Panzer Division appeared

on the left flank and together with the other guns, succeeded in

destroying eight American half-tracks. Company C of the 37th

Tank Battalion deployed to clear the enemy, but the Germans

knocked out three tanks and the remainder of the company became

mired in the mud. As darkness was setting in, Lieutenant Colonel

Maybach. decided to withdraw and regroup for the night. By dark

the column had established a line on the high ground, 700 yards
southwest of FO'TENY.

Meanwhile the 35th Division captured DELV.E and crossed


The presence of the 11th Panzer Division in front of

Combat Command B indicated that the 4th Armored Division was not

going to be able to break through the crust of enemy resistance

and drive quickly to the SARRE RIVER, That evening the division
made plans to commit Combat Command A to the south in the

26th Division sector on the following day. The 26th Division

had made good progress during the day advancing into the out-

skirts of CHATEAU SALINS, securing the highway between MOYENVIC'

and CHATEAU SALINS, deploying elements in the vicinity of


10 November 1944

Combat Command A, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel

Creighton W. Abrams, on 10 November 1944, attacked through the

26th Division line at MORVILLE-LES-VIC in a drive on vMORHANGE

parallel to that of Combat Command B. The combat command was

broken into two columns for the attack. The leading column

consisted of the 37th Tank Battalion (reinforced) (see Figure 7),.

commanded by Major William L. Hunter. The second column was

composed of the 35th Tank Battalion (reinforced) (see Figure 7),

commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Delk , Oden, Major Hunterts

column moved through VIC-SUR-SEILLE, tMORVILLj-LES-VIC, and

HAMPONT, and halted in an assembly area northeast of OBRECK

at dark, Resistance during the day was light, but the bad

roads delayed the advance in the vicinity of HAIPONT, and the

wet ground impeded any movement off the roads. During the

night the 37th Tank Battalion area was shelled heavily by

artillery fire coming from north of BURLIONCOUiRT. IMeanwhile,

Colonel Odents column closed into an assembly area in the

vicinity of BEZANGE-LA-GRANDE. By dark the 26th Division had

cleared CHATEAU SALINS and the woods south of HAMPONT, and had

pushed elements as far east as Major Hunter s assembly area.

In the Combat Command B zone, Colonel Maybach's column

was unable to advance into FONTENY or FAXE because of heavy

antitank, tank, and artillery fire coming from the high ground

to the north and east of FONTENY.

During the night of 9-10 November 1944, a German combat

team consisting of tanks and infantry from the 111th Panzer

Grenadier Regiment recaptured VIVIERS. The infantry of the

35th Division had not followed closely the armored attack through

VIVIERS, consequently the enemy was able to enter the town at

night, cutting the supply route for the Churchill column. The

22d Armored Field Artillery Battalion was in position just to

the west of VIVIERS, They discovered that the enemy had cut

them off from the rest of the column when an ambulance return-

ing from the Churchill assembly area was fired upon as it

dashed through the town. The 2d Battalion, 137th Infantry,

and a platoon of tanks from the 8th Tank Battalion, closely

supported by the 22d Armored Field.Artillery Battalion, launched

a coordinated attack at 1500, which drove the Germans from the

town by 1715 that evening.

11 November 1944'

At 0700 on the morning of 11 November, in Combat Command

A's sector, Major Hunter's column moved from its assembly area

to the west across the railroad and turned north toward

HABOUDANGE. When the head of the column was 1000 yards

southwest of HABOUDANGE, it met intense tank and antitank

fire from units of the 110th Panzer Grenadier Regiment in

position on the high ground to the northwest. ' 9 Major Hunter

was ordered to withdraw and attack through DEDELING, to bypass

RICHE on the south, and to continue his attack to CONTHIL,

Company D and the battalion command group, already heavily

engaged with the enemy, pushed through toward CONTHIL on the

original route. The remainder of the column turned back to

OBRECK, taking the more easterly route through DEDELING. In

this engagement, the column lost one medium tank, three light

tanks, two half-tracks, and two 1/4-ton trucks. The battalion

reassembled south of RICHE behind the protection afforded by

the high railroad embankment and continued its attack, cap-

turing CONTHIL against light opposition at 1515. They then

organized positions for the night about 1000 yards east of

CONTHIL on the high ground.

During the day, the other Combat Command A column,

under Colonel Oden, moved from its assembly area at BEZANGE-


assembly area near HAMPONT. The evening of 11 November found

elements of the 26th Division in the outskirts of CHATEAU-VOUE

and tl-e vicinity of the Hunter assembly, area.

In the Combat Command B zone, both columns were

engaged throughout the day, Colonel Maybach's column received

considerable artillery and mortar fire from enemy units in the

FORET DE CHATEAU SALINS. In the afternoon, Company C, 51st

Armored Infantry Battalion, together with two companies of the

3d Battalion, 137th Infantry, attacked rear guard elements

of the 110th Panzer Grenadier Regiment in FO\NTENY. By dark

they had cleared the southwest section of the town. During the

attack Lieutenant Colonel Maybach was mortally wounded while

observing from a vantage point near FONTENY. He died the

following day, leaving Major Harry R. Van Arham in command of

the right column of Combat Gommand B.

The left column in the vicinity of HANNOCOURT reported

an enemy counterattack developing near ORON. All the available

artillery in the sector took the enemy attackers under fire.

The artillery fire, together with the direct fire from the tanks,

succeeded in driving off the counterattack, but as a result of

this attack the column made no gains during the day.

The 35th Division advanced slowly in the FORET DE CHATEAU


The 11th Panzer Division had used counterattacks and

artillery fire to cover the withdrawal of the German forces

from FORET DE CHATEAU SALINS to a new defense line extending


(See Figure 9)
For the attack on the morning of 12 November, Colonel

Oden split his column into two forces. The leading force

consisted of the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion (reinforced)

(see Figure 8), under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Arthur

L. West. The remainder of the column formed the other force

under the direct command of Colonel Oden. Colonel West's

attack carried through CHATEAU-VOUE and KOECKING BAS to the

high ground southeast of LIDREZING. By 0930 this force had

reached its objective, taking the hill south of LIDREZING

diring a snowstorm. The empty half-tracks at the tail of

Colonel VWest s task force were intercepted by German tanks

just east of CHATEAU-VOUE. This resulted in the West Task

Force being separated from the remainder of the column for a

period of six hours. By the middle of the afternoon an alternate

route to the north through DEDELING provided the Oden column

with the means of by-passing and out-flanking the enemy resistance.

By dark the Oden column, accompanied by the 2d Battalion, 104th

Infantry, 26th Division, had assembled on the high ground south

of LIDREZING. Although the attack by Colonel West s force had

had outstanding success, the late arrival of the remainder of

the Oden column on the objective precluded any further advance

that day,
^ )

9 November 1944

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On the morning. of 12 November,. Niajor Hunter reCddied

orders to move to the north through RODALBE and BERIVERING to

cut the escape route of the Germans from MORHANGE to the east.

After capturing RODALBE,' the column was ordered to withdraw

toward CONTHIL to meet an enemy armored attack which was

threatening in that vicinity. When the tanks had assembled

on the high ground between RCDALBE and CONTHIL, the two

companies from the 104th Infantry, which had occupied RODALBE

when the tanks took the town, were attacked by the 111th Panzer
Grenadier Regiment supported by tanks. Company B, 37th Tank

Battalion, launched an attack from the south toward RCDALBE

to relieve the infantry, but became bogged down in the mud

500 yards south of the town and was unable to advance. The

37th Tank Battalion lost three medium tanks and one 105-mm

assault gun to enemy fire and had to destroy t,;o other tanks

which remained stuck in the mud. In addition to the heavy

losses which the tank battalion suffered, the two companies

from the 104th Infantry were overrun completely when the

Germans succeeded in capturing the town at dusk, The Hunter

column withdrew to the vicinity of LIDREZING for the night.13 ' 14

"The right column of Combat Command B, supported by two

companies from the 137 Infantry, cleared FONTENY of the enemy

shortly after daybreak. Upon reaching the eastern end of the

town the column was delayed while the engineers from Company C,

24th Armored Engineer Battalion, cleared the bridge of demolitions.

The enemy had abandoned three he tanks neax ehe outfkirtg

of the town, whild they had been unable to move for lack of

fuel. The column then proceeded north and assisted elements

of the 137th Regiment in clearing FAXE.

Meanwhile the 8th Tank Battalion.. cooperating with

the 2d Battalion 137th Infantry, cleared the BOIS DE SERRES

where they captured about 300 prisoners. By 1515 a coordinated

drive of both Combat Command B columns and the 2d Battalion,

137th Infantry, had cleared ORON. The 51st Armored Infantry

Battalion continued to the vicinity of CHATEAU BREHAIN, where

it bivouacked for the night. The 8th Tank Battalion remained

in ORON.

During that day there was noticeable rise in the number

of trenchfoot cases throughout the division, particularly in

the armored infantry units. 15

When the Hunter column captured RODALBEL, it split the

llth Panzer Division from the 3 6 1st Volks Grenadier Division

on the south. The 11th Panzer Division reacted violently to

reestablish contact with its neighbor on the south by an

overwhelming attack on RODALBE. On the morning of 13 November

the 11th Panzer Division sent a task force from the 110th Panzer

Grenadier Regiment to GUEBLING by way of BENESTROFF to further

strengthen the contact and deny Combat Command A a route to the

16, 17

XII Corps issued Operational Directive Number 24, which

gave the 4th Armored Division and the 26th Infantry Division

identical zones and objectives. The objective of both units

was the high ground in the vicinity of SCHMITTVILLE beyond the


13 November 1944

The next day, 13 November, the Oden column received

instructions to organize a position along the northern edge

of the woods, north of KOECKING BAS and to assist elements of

the 26th Division in recapturing CONTHIL. The bulk of the

column assumed the defensive positions in the' vicinity of

KOECKING BAS, while a task force, (see Figure 8) commanded by

Major Don T. McKone, S-3 of the 35th Tank Battalion, reoccupied

CONTHIL at 1145. After taking the town, iMajor ikcKonets force

moved toward RODALBE. As it reached the northern edge of the

woods half-way between CONTHIL and RODALBE, it came under tank

and antitank fire. The forward observer tank from the 94th

Armored Field Artillery Battalion, which was near the head of

the column, was hit three times in rapid succession, The column

withdrew to a bivouac area on the high ground between CONTHIL

and ZARBELING for the night

The 37th Tank Battalion, which had suffered heavy losses

in RODALBE the preceding day, spent the day in reor aidpgng, in" the

vicinity of LIDREJZING. Company C of the 10th Armored Infantry

Battalion, and Company A of the 53d Armored Infantry Battalion,

took up positions between CONTHIL and LIDREZING, protecting

Combat Command A's left flank.

Commencing at 0830, six battalions of corps artillery,

the 35th Division artillery, and the artillery supporting

Combat Command B fired a 30-minute preparation on towns and

assembly areas in support of the Combat Command B and 35th

Division attacks.

Shortly after daylight the 51st Armored Infantry moved

out of its assembly area near CHATEAU BREHAIN with its objective

MORHANGE. Although the column met negligible resistance, it was,

held up by a blown bridge and numerous mines planted along the

road. The tinm involved in clearing the obstacles, together

with the slow progress due to the muddy condition of the road,

delayed the column so that darkness forced it to halt on the

high ground north of ACHAIN.

The 8th Tank Battalion left ORON at 1130 in the direction

of VILLERS-SUR NIED. First contact was made with the enemy east

of VILLERS-SUR NIED, where the column came under antitank, mortar,

and artillery fire from the hill northeast of kARTHILL. A force

of light tanks from Company D, 8th Tank Battalion, encircled

the enemy position from the left. The attack as completely

successful, taking the enemy by surprise from the flank and rear.

They succeeded in capturing intact seven 88-t1 and eleven 75-mm

guns, with considerable quantities of ammunition, The column

then proceeded through MARTILLE toward DESTRY. As in the past,

the advance was slowed by mines and road blocks. The engineers

had difficulty in locating the non metallic type mines which

the Germans were laying in this area. At about dark the column

halted northeast of MARTHILLE short of DESTRY.

The 35th Division had pushed elements into MARTHILLE

and ACHAIN by the end of the day.

14 November 1944

In the Combat Command A sector, on the morning of the

14th, Major McKone s task force withdrew to the vicinity of the

35th Tank Battalion positions. At 0930 a task force consisting

of the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion (reinforced) commanded

by Lieutenant Colonel West (see Figure 8) launched an attack

toward GUEBLING with the final objective of securing the hill

east of BASSING. To cover the. movement of the column toward

GUEBLING, the 94th and 66th Armored Field Artillery Battalions

and the 191st Field Artillery Battalion (155-mm Howitzer)

effectively smoked the ridge to the north of GUEBLING throughout

the attack. Company A, 37th Tank Battalion, supported the'

attack by direct fire from positions 1500 yards east of LIDREZING.

The column encountered three enemy tanks south. of KUTZELING FAiRM.

The tank platoon leading the column succeeded in knocking out

these tanks, but only after it had lost its lead tank. At the

same time, armored infantrymen cleared the woods of the enemy

infantry who were accompanying the tanks. The column had dif-

ficulty in continuing its advance because the leading tank, which

had been knocked out, was blocking the road, requiring vehicles

to by-pass it through mud. When the column arrived at a point

about 1000 yards west of GUEBLING, it was met by heavy tank and

artillery fire. The artillery liaison plane from the direct

support artillery battalion reported five tanks along the rail-

road west of GUEBLING. The. air observer adjusted the medium

artillery on the tanks, and the artillery battalion fired a con-

centration while our tanks closed in. All the enemy tanks were

destroyed without any loss to the American column. With the

enemy tanks destroyed, the column continued its advance. On

approaching the railroad the leading tank struck an antitank mine.

The second and third tanks in the column irrmediately fanned out

to the right and left of the lead tank, but they were also disabled

by minest Inasmuch as the tanks were halted by mine fields, the

armored infantry continued the attack on foot, while the reconnais-

sance platoon from the 10th Armored InfantryT Battalion cleared a

path through the mines. The infantry discovered that the bridge

across the creek 100 yards farther to the east had been blown,

and the stream there was unfordable for vehicles. The engineer

platoon attached to the task force moved forward to replace the

bridge. It was dark before the bridge had been completed, but

in the meantime the armored infantry seized GUIEBLING, destroying

one German tank with a bazooka and capturing about 30 prisoners.

After dark the remainder of the column moved into the town and
took-up positions reinforcing the infantry. During the night

the Germans poured intense artillery and mortar fire into the
town from the commanding ground which they still held, ' 22

The left column, under IVjor Hunter, remained in the

vicinity of LIDREZING anJ. CONTHIL.

The 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, which had.

assembled in the vicinity of BEZANGE-LA-GRAN1DE on the 13th

of November, received the mission of establishing a screen

between Combat Commafd A in the vicinity of CONTHIL and elements

of the 35th Division near BELLANGE. By 1800 the squadron had

made contact ith both Combat Command A and i th the 35th Division


The 51st Armored Infantry Battalion in the Combat Command

B zone encountered mines as soon as it started its move on the

morning of the 14th. When it resumed the march, the column

received fire from two enemy tanks, supported by infantry. These

were routed by the tank destroyers in the column, which were able

to maneuver off the road in the mud. The tank destroyers knocked

out one enemy tank and one self-propelled gun in this engagement.

As the column neared BARONVILLE, it was halted by artillery fire

from the east of BARONVILLE and the vicinity of IMORHANGE. Infantry

from. th 3d Battalion, 137th Infantry secured BARONVILLE during

the afternoon.

The north column Combat Command B cleared DESTRY at 1235

in conjunction with the 2d Battalion, 137th Infantry, and then

moved south to the vicinity of BARONVILLE for the night. 2 4

Beginning at dark, the bulk of the German forces with-

drew to a new defense line from HARPRICH to RCDALBE.

At 2130 on 14 Noverrber, XII Corps issued Operational

Directive Number 35, which directed the 35th Division to be

prepared to follow the 6th Armored Division, which was operating

in the north half of the corps zone w&th the 80th Division,

The mission and objectives of the 4th Armored Division were not

changed. 25

15 November 1944

Colonel West s task force continued to be

subjected to intense enemy artillery and mortar fire. The Germans

were assisted in the adjustment of their fire during the night

by the blaze of a gasoline truck which received a direct hit.

An enemy counterattack at 0700 on the morning of the 15th was

repulsed. However, an attack by the West task force, reinforced

by Company A, 37th Tank Battalion, and Company A, 10th Armored

Infantry Battalion, failed to secure the high ground on either

side of GUEBLING. The enemy continued to attack the town with

tanks supported by intense artillery fire. Before noon it becane

apparent that the ,est task force would be unable to hold the

town, Orders were issued to withdraw to positions in the vicinity

of KUTZELING FARi. By late afternoon the force had evacuated

the town, the engineers destroying the bridge which they had built

the night before. The German artillery and tank fire continued

to hammer the column during its withdrawal.2 27 Colonel West

described the enemy artillery and tank fire during this operation

as the most intense he had encountered to that time.28

The Hunter column continued to hold positions on a line


The 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron likewise

continued its mission of screening between Combat Command A and

the 35th Division. By evening the contact extended from MORHANGE


The 51st Armored Infantry Battalion enccuntered extensive

enemy minefields to the south of BARONVILLE as they moved forward

in the attack on 11MORHANGE. Before noon the battalion was fighting

in MORHANGE, together with the 2d and 3d Battalions, 134th Infantry

35th Division, The town was cleared by late afternoon and the

column occupied positions about 500 yards east of MlORHANGE at dark.

The plan of anployment for the 8th Tank Battalion on the

15th contemplated that the 8th would follow the 51st Armored

Infantry Battalion into MORHANGL and assist in clearing the town,

After leaving its assembly area along the DESTRY-BARONVILLE highway,

the Churchill column was delayed by the tail of the 51st column,

which had net cleared BARONVILLE. While waiting for clearance

through BARONVILLE, the column received artillery and tank fire

from the vicinity of HARPRICH. The tanks of the battalion.spent

the afternoon shelling the enemy positions near HARPRICH. At

dark the battalion moved into BARONVILLE for the night. 29

16 November 19,

Most units in the south sectors of the XII Corps zone

paused to reorganize and regroup on 16 November. The 25th

Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron gained and maintained contact

with the enemy along the highway north of RiCORANGE and on the

high ground 1000 yards south of RCDALBE.

The corps directive issued at 1130 hours revised the

entire scheme of maneuver as previously planned. Instead of

being placed in corps reserve, the 35th Division was given an

objective east of the SARRE RIVER and a zone which extended to

the north corps boundary.

The 4th Armored Division received the mission of support-'

ing the 35th ard 26th Divisions, with one -combat command in each

infantry division zone. 30

In Combat Command A's sector the companies which had

been attached to various units reverted to the control of their

parent organizations. Except for the artillery battalions, which

remained to support the 26th Division, the conbat commarnd withdrew

to bivouac areas to the rear in the vicinity of GEFRECOURT.

Combat Coirmard B units remained in their positions in


-- 4
17 November 1944

XII Corps issued orders on 17 November further modifying

existing plans by relieving Combat Command B of its mission.of

supporting the 35th Division. It gave the 4th Armored Division,

less Combat Command A, the mission of forming the corps reserve.

Combat Command A retained its mission of supporting the attack

of the 26th Division.

Shortly before dark the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion

began its withdrawal to BEZANGE-LA-GRANDE while Combat Command B

headquarters was moved to COURBESSEAUX, As in the case of Combat

Command A, the artillery with Combat Command B remained in

position supporting the 35th Division.

18 November 1944

During the day of 18 November, the 8th Tank Battalion

moved back to a bivouac area near SERRES. The 4th Armored

Division units used this time to rest, to perform much needed

maintenance on their vehicles and weapons, and to draw new

equipment to replace that which had been lost or destroyed.

Colonel !iilliamP. ithers replaced Lieutenant Colonel

Abrams as commanding officer of Combat Command A. Lieutenant

Colonel Abrams returned to the 37th Tank Battalion as its

commanding officer.

The 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was relieved

of its screening mission and closed into an assembly area in

the 'vicinity of H RANCOURT SUR SEILLE .

Comb~b t riiai A is 6&gnied into three Torces tor
its attack h suhppot dP tie h Division. The north column

coflisted of the 37th tnk Battaiion (reinforced) (see Figure 10),.

commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Abrams, The south column was

composed of the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion (reinforced)

(see Figure 10), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel West. The third

force was designated the combat command reserve and consisted of

Company C, 37th Tank Battalion and Company A, 10th Armored

Infantry Battalion. This force was ordered to march behind the

north column and act as its rear guard.32

19 November 1944

The north column moved out from the vicinity of GERBECOURT

at 0700 on 19 November. By 0930 it had cleared ODALBE against

light opposition. After pausing to clear a path through the mines

north of RODALBE, the column was further delayed until the engineers

prepared a by-pass around the demolished railroad overpass. The

column proceeded through BERI.ERING without opposition, meeting

resistance as it turned right on the main road 500 yards north of

BERIERING. After shelling the enemy in VIRMING, the battalion

cleared the town of three companies of the 11th Panzer Division,

losing one tank to the enemyrs four. As it was getting dark,

the column left the burning town and bivouacked west of VIRMNG

for the night, Late in the day Company B, 37th Tank Battalion,

joined the column in its bivouac area.. The 3d Battalion, 320th



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Infantry, 35th Division, occupied VIRKING throughout the night..

The right column of Combat Command A and the combat

command reserve remained in their former locations throughout

the day, The 26th Division had not succeeded in clearing DIEUZE,

which prevented the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion from using

its 3 3
assigned route of advance,

Combat Command B was alerted for movement to the east

with the mission of securing lTTERSHEII. This mission was to

result in the whole division's being committed in a crossing of

the SARRE RIVER, the details of which are covered in the following


20 November 19

Early on the morning of 20 November, Colonel Abrams'

column moved through VIRk NG. Between VIRMING and OBRICK,

mines, road blocks and demolitions delayed the column. As it

approached FRANCALTROFF enemy mortar and artillery fire forced

the leading elements to withdraw. FRANCALTROFF was held by

two companies of the lllth Panzer Grenadier Regiment . At 1400,

after a sharp artillery preparation, the attack of the 37th Tank

Battalion carried through the town. As it continued its advance,

the column was halted by several blown bridges near LENING. The

Germans kept fire on the bridge sites which prevented the engineers

from replacing the bridges until after dark, The 3d Battalion.,

320th Infantry, secured FRANCALTROFF while the 37th Tank Battalion

withdrew to the vicinity of O3RICK for the night.

The south column of Combat Command A moved out, using

the same route the north column had taken the previous day.

It halted in an assembly area south of BER1ERING.

The 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, which the

division had attached to Combat Command A, moved to an assembly

area between CONTHIL and RODALBE. Its mission was to screen the

right flank of Combat Command A and reconnoiter to the SARRE


21 November 1944

On the 21st of November, elements of the West column and

Troop D, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance, Squadron, assisted the 2d

Battalion, 320th Infantry, in clearing light enemy forces from

LENING. The engineers attached to Combat Command A spent most

of the day repairing or replading bridges in LEa'ING and removing

a tank barrier. Both columns of Combat Commnand A had made plans

to continue the attack to INSMIkNG and SARR. UNION on the 22d,

but the division ordered a withdrawal to the RCDALBE-ZARBELING


The corps operational directive issued on 22 November

confirmed the verbal instruction of the previous day, giving the

4th Armored Division the mission of attacking across the SARRE

in the south of the corps zone. All elements of Combat Command

A except the artillery and the 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron

withdrew to the RODALBE area and prepared to support the attack

by Combat Command B, which had already carried to MITTERSHEIM

During the period 8-21 November 1944, the 4th Armored

Division attacked to the east in the zones of the 26th and 35th

Infantry Divisions, This attack carried the Division from the


it withdrew to the south to reorganize and launch an attack

which was to carry it across the SARRE RIVER,


After Action Report, XIT Corps, November 1944, Annex 1
and 2, p 7.

2Gen Lt Wend von Wietersheim, Employment of the llth

Panzer Division in Lower Lorraine Rhineland, Part II, pp 4-6.

After Action Report, XII Corps, November 1944, G-2
Periodic Report ,87, 9 Novenber 1944,

4 Combat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,

Item 9, November 1944. (Pages of this report are not numbered.)

Ibid, Item 10, November 1944.

Op cit, Weitersheim, p 4.

Interview, Major Risden L. Fountain, formerly Executive
Officer, 22d Armored Field Artillery Battalion,

8O cit, Weitersheim, p 6,

After Action Report, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
G-2 Periodic Report #91, Item 150.

l0Interview, Captain James H. Leach, formerly Company

Commander, Company B, 37th Tank Battalion.

11Interview, Lt Col Robert I.. Parker, Jr, formerly

Commanding Officer, 94th Armored Field Artillery Battalion.

120p cit, ieitersheim, p 7.

3Combat History, 4th Armored biviision, November 1944,
.item 12, Noveaber 1944.

10 cit, Capt James H. Leach.

1 5
Combat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Item 12, November 1944.

16 0p cit, Weitersheim, p 7.

1 7 After Action Report, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,

G-2 Periodic Report #92.

After Action Report, XII Corps, November 1944, Annex 1
and 2, p 64.
1 9
Combat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Item 13, November 1944. Although there is no mention in the
report of the engagement in the vicinity of the CONTH-L WOODS,
Lt Col Parker recalls the action because of the loss of his
forward observer s tank.

Combat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Item 13.
Major Hugh F. Young, "Reinforced Armored Infantry Team
in the Attack of a Town," a student monograph (Fort Knox,
The Armored School), pp 1-7.
9p cit, Lt Col Parker,in November 1944.

After Action Report, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron,
November 1944, pp 2, 3.

Combat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Item 14.

2 5
After Action Report, XII Corps, November 1944, Annex 1
and 2, p 6'5.

26 , it, Young, pp 7-9,

0p cit, Lt Col Parker,
8Comments by Lt Col Arthur L, West, in discussing attack
on GUEBLING with Captain Thomas Diamanteb.
2 9 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Combat History,
Item 15.
30 XII Corps, Noveimber 1944, Annex 1
After Action Report,
and 2, p 66.
Ibid, p 69.

9ombat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Item 19.

Ibid, Item 19.

3 4 Ibid, Item 20.

3 5 Ibid, Item 21.

3 6 After Action Report, XII Corps, November 1944, Annex 1

and 2, p 73.


The time had arrived for the 4th Armored Division to

seize crossings over the SARRE RIVER. To the soutL the attack

in Seventh Army, XV Corps zone, had progressed rapidly and the

German forces in the south of the XII Corps zone were with-

drawing to the north and east. On 20 November, Combat Command

B launched an attack which carried it across the SARRE RIVER

on 23 November.. By 25 November the units of Combat Corimand B

had firmly established a bridgehead over the SARRE and had

withstood the one yy' s attempt to drive them back across the


19 November 1944

On the 19th of November the corps commander ordered the

4th Armored Division to attack with elements of Combat Command B

along the south of the corps zone through MITTERSHEIIM, seize

crossings of the SARRE RIVER near FENETRANGE and outflank the

German defenses along the SARRE RIVER from the south. That

morning Combat Command B was placed on a two-hour alert. At

1115 the division ordered the combat command to move to the east

to seize '~ITTERSHEIM as soon as the 26th Division had cleared

DIEUZE, however the 26th Division's attack on the afternoon of

the 19th was repulsed when it was within a hundred yards of the
city. Although the combat command was unable to move because

the enemy still held .IEUZE, it dispatched the 51st Armored

Infantry Battalion to assist the 328th Infantry of the 26th

Division in its attack on DIEUZE scheduled for the following


20 November 1944
(See Figure 12)

After a fifteen minute artillery preparation, the 51st

Armored Infantry Battalion launched a coordinated attack from

the vicinity of KERPRICH-LES-DIEUZE, with the 3d Battalion of

the 328th Infantry on its left. The attack of these two battalions

overran DIEUZE against slight opposition. Only rear guard elements

remained to oppose the American advance. The 953d Infantry of the

361st Volks Grenadier Division, which had been defending DIEUZE,

had withdrawn during the night. 3 By 1400 the infantry had cleared

DIEUZE and combat Command B began its advance to the east, The

column veered to the north, clearing VERGAVILLE and BIDESTROFF

and halted one kilometer west of DOMNO -LES-DIEUZE for the night.

As the column was strung out along the road individual units

selected bivouac areas between DOMNOM-LES-DIEUZE and MULCEY.

21 November 1944

For the attack on the morning of 21 November, Combat

Command B was divided into two columns. The leading column,

which consisted of 53d Armored Infantry Battalion (reinforced)









19 NOV - 25 NOV 1944'

19 di ..-
"' 23

0 ie.. 2000 '1090 6ooo qo

.-.- ®.2I al m 25 YARDS
.M e 2
(see Figure 13), was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Ls

Jacques. ,This unit moved out at 0830, passing north of LOSTROFF

to GUINZELING and TORCHEVILLE.- It was not until the battalion

attack to the east, toward 1UNSTER, that it encountered elements

of the 953d Volks Grenadier Regiment in the BOIs D'ALBESTROFF.

By midafternoon the Jacques column had cleared the BOI: DIalbestoaff

along the TORCHEVILLh-MUNSTER road and was preparing to attack

MUNSTER when it received orders to withdraw to the vicinity of

TOCHEVILLE for the night and await new orders. l4

In the meantime the south column of Combat Command B,

consisting of the 8th Tank Battalion (reinforced) (see Figure 13),,

commnded by iMajor Churchill, advanced east through CUTTING toward

LOUDREFIhG. About one kilometer west of LOUDREFING the column

was halted by a blown bridge. As it was imipossible to replace

the bridge and get the advance under way before dark, the column

halted in the vicinity of CUTTING for the night.

On the 21st the 2d Cavalry Group, which had the mission

of screening the corps south flank, dispatched petrols to the

east and southeast of DIEUZE. By dark the cavalry was patrolling

a line southeast from CUTTING to the HOUILLERES DE LA SARRE CANAL

near ALBESCHMUX. They found negligible enemy resistance in the

zone south of the line DIEUZE-MITTERSHEvIM. 5

22 November 1944

The attack of the Churchill column on the morning of

22 November overran LOUDREFING and continued down the highway

toward MITTERSIHEI. Two kilometers east of the town the advance

was halted by debris from the railway overpass which had been

destroyed and was blocking the road.. After the rubble had been

cleared, the column continued its march. As the battalion

approached ITTERSHEIk it encountered fire from elements of

the 953d Volks Grenadier Regimen, supported by the 81th Fort ess

Machine Gun Battalion and 816th Super Heavy i,.achine Gun Battalion
equipped with 20:mm antiaircraft guns, The tanks rapidly drove

the enemy from their positions and as soon as Company B of the

24th Armored Engineer Battalion had laid a treadway bridge across

the HOUILLERES DE LA SARRE CANAL the battalion cleared the town

of .ITTERSHEII.. The engineers searched the dam just south of the

canal bridge for explosives. They fond no demolitions around

the dam, so there was no danger of the dam being blown, thus

washing out the treadway bridge and isolating the force to the

east of kITTERSHEIi at 1400 the battalion continued its attack

toward FENETRANGE, As it approached the woods between \ ITTERSHEIM

and FENETRANGE, it received enemy artillery fire and direct fire

from the woods to the north of the road, The battalion deployed

to clear the woods, but it met heavy fire from hidden enemy

positions, As it was late in the afternoon, the battalion with




y v

:::}41ti2fi" tip.

drew to the vicinity of MITTERSHEIM and bivouacked there for the


The Jacques column out of contact with the enemy, remained

in the vicinity of TORCHVILLE throughout the day, awaiting orders.j

By dusk the 2d Cavalry Group had pushed light forces across


23 November 1944

At 0845 on the morning of 23 November the 8th Tank Battalion

launched its attack from MITTERSHEIM to the east. It encountered

small arms fire as it approached the woods two kilometers east of

MITTERSHEII. This resistance was neutralized by tank fire and the

columh continued. By 1000 the column was in the outskirts of

FENETRANGE, where it overcame a light enemy force which fought a

rear-guard acticn through the town. Shortly after 1100 FENETRANGE

was cleared of the enemy. Troop C, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance

Squadron, was dispatched south to seek crossings of the SARRE RIVER.

The cavalry contacted patrols of tPhe 2d Cavalry Group and found a

bridge intact at ROiELFING and another at GOSSE VilNG. They secured

both bridges and thus became the first Third Army troops across

the SARRE RIVER. At about 2000 they made contact with elements

of the 44th Infantry Division of XV Corps at BETTBORN and OBERSTINZELk

At FENETRANGE the 24th Armored Engineer Battalion worked on replacing

the 90-foot bridge over the SARRE. The Churchill column outposted

FENETRANGE during the night,

Colonel Jacques column was ordered to join the remainder

of-Combat Command B in the vicinity of FENETRANGE. The column

succeeded in reaching LOSTROFF, where it bivouacked for the night,

Meanwhile, both columns of Combat Command A, less their

supporting artillery which remained in the vicinity of VIRMING

to assist the attack by the 35th Division, rested in the' RODALBE-

CONTHIL area. It was Thanksgiving Day, and except for a few

elements of Combat Command B who were engaged with the enemy,

all the troops in the 4th Armored Division enjoyed a turkey dinner.

24 November 1944

Major Churchill!s column left its bivouac area in FENETRANGE

on the morning of the 24th and crossed the SARRE RIVER at ROMELFING*

By 0950 the battalion had reached POSTROFF and. secured the high

ground west of the town where they organized for defense. During

the day they received sporadic artillery fire from the northeast,

The 22d Armored Field artillery Battalion displaced its howitzers

to the east bank of the SARRE RIVER to support the tanks,

The 53d Arr:ored Infantry Battalion moved from its assembly

area near LOSTROFF end crossed the SARRE RIVER at GOSSELMING, By

0930 the head of the column had cleared HELLE.ING without meeting

any enemy opposition, As it moved into KIRtERG it found the roads

through the town heavily mined. One mile north of KIRRBERG the

column met artillery, antitank and machine gun fire from the
vicinity of BAERENDORF. Elements of the 902d Panzer Grenadier

Regiment, supported by the 130th Antitank Battalion and the

130th Engineer Battalion (all of the 130th Panzer Lehr Division)

held the town. As the tanks were delayed by mine fields and a

blown bridge west of the town, the infantry led the attack to

seize the high ground south of BAERENDORF. The tanks supported

this attack by fire from positions along the KIRRBERG-BAERENDORF

highway, By 1630 the infantry had secured the hih ground

surrounding. BAERNDORF and cleared the Germans from the town.

The battalion then outposted the town for the night.9 In the

attack on BAERENDORF the 53d Armored Infantry Battelion destroyed

or captured ten antitank guns and decimated the 130th Antitank


The 130 Panzer Lehr Division had been given the mission of

driving south to strike the Seventh Army attack in the flank and

recapture SARREBOURG. The Combat Command B attack struck the

ri ght column of the Panzer Division headon. The other German

columns passed through to the east of BAERENDORF and struck the

elements of the 44th Infantry Division at RAUWILLER and SCHALBACH

on the mornin- of 25 November, 1

During the afternoon Combat Command A dispatched a task

force under ilajor icKone of the 35th.Tank Battalion, consisting

of Company B, 35th Tank Battalion, and Company C, 51st Armored

Infantry Battalion,, to clear the enemy from NIEDERSTINZEL, a

town north of FiiNTRNGE on the west bank of the SARR~i~ This

force succeeded in reachin. the high ground 500 yards south of

NIEDERSTINZEL, where it was stopped by artillery and small arms

fire., Task Force ,cKone had struck the south shoulder of the

German defenses holding the west bank of the SARRE RIVER, The

remainder of Combat Commarrgrn A moved south to bivouac areas in

towns generally between DIEUZE and LOUDREFING from which they

would be able to expand the bridgehead over the SARRE.12

25 November 1944

At 044.5 on the morning of 25 November the Germans, who

had been evicted from BAERENDORF the preceding afternoon by

Task Force Jacques, launched an attack against the town from

the northeast. The enemy forces consisted of infantrymen

supported by a platoon of tanks. The German attack was halted

when two of their tanks had been knocked out and a considerable

number of German infantry had been killed. This attack carried

to the outskirts of the town and temporarily threatened to isolate

the 53d Armored Infantry Battalion in BAERENDORF. By 1000 the

German attack hbd been thrown back and the 53d reestablished their

lines north an east of the town,

The task force south of NIEDEFSTINZEL, reinforced by

Company C, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, launched its attack

on NI ,DERSTINZ L at 1100. By 1130 they succeeded in entering

the edge of the town, but intense enemy fire forced them to.
withdraw to the positions from which they had launched the attack,

The 51st Armored Infantry Battalion, which had been in

the Re-serve Commen-, was attached to Combat Command B in order to

support the bridgehead. The battalion, less Coij.pany C, which was

with the force attacking NIEDERSTINZEL, crossed the SARRE RIVER

at FENETRANGE in the afternoon and attacked north to clear the

BOIS DE LItSCH. This attack, supported by the ath Armored Division

artillery, cleared the woods by 1630. The battalion captured 22

prisoners an(' killed 15 of the enemy,

During. the day all the artillery with the 4th Armored

Division was moved to positions from which it could support the

bridgehead across the SA

lRE, Combat Command A was alerted for

the following day to make a coordinated attack with Combat Command

B to break out of the bridgehead and drive to the north. 1 3

In the six-say period since 19 November, Combat Command B

had driven to the east through bITTERSSI,., secured crossings

over the SARRE AIVER, established a bridgehead and successfully

withstood the enerrmys assault to dislodge then. For the first

time since October, the division was to have the opportunity to

operate as a unit in a coordinated attack a.;.ainst the enemy which

was to take it to the ka"'inot line.


After ction Report, XII Corps, November 1944, Annex 1
and 2, p 72.
Combat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Item 19.

After Action Report, 4th Armored Division, November
1944, G-2 Periodic Report #89.
4 Combat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Item 21.

5After Action Report, XII Corps, November 1944, Annex 1

and 2, p 20.

61bid, G-2 Periodic Report #102,

Combat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Item 22.

8bid, Item 23.

9Ibid, It em 24.
Letter, Hq Air P/W Interrogation Detachment, US,
APWIUC, Ninth AF Adv 63/1945, 372,2, APO 696, US Army, "A Crack
German Panger Division and Vhat Allied Air Poeer did to it
Between D-Day and V-Day." (130th Panzer Lehr Div, coimmanded
by Gen Lt Fritz Bayerlein), p 13.

lIbid, p 13.

12Combat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,

Item 24.

131bid, Item 25.



The establishment of the bridgehead across the SARRE

RIVER by Combat Command B gave the 4th Armored Division the

opportunity to push north and east to the ',Maginot Line, out-

flanking the German defenses east of the SARRL. For the first

time since the November offensive had begun the 4th Armored

Division was going to be able to make a coordinated attack,

using both combat commands,

26 November 1944
(See Figure 14)

On the morning of 26 November 1944, Combat Command A

began to cross the SARRE, using the bridges at ROI/ELFING and

FENETRANGE. i'eanwhile, Combat Command B was attacking, toward

T7OLFSKIRCHEN to expand the bridgehead, just four miles northeast

of the crossin' sites. The 53d Armored.Infantry Battalion

attacked to the northeast from BAERENDORF with its objective

EYWILLER. The companies moved cross-country to ESCHWILLER,

which, they occupied without opposition at 1535. The battalionts

vehicles used th:e road through POSTROFF as the route cross-country

was impassable. The column then moved north to a point 1000

yards west of EYWILLER, where it halted for the night.

The 51st Armored Infantry Battalion and the 8th Tank

Battalion launched a coordinated attack toward lOLFSKIRCHEN

from their positions in the north edge of the BOIS DE L ISCH


26 NOV s3O NOV I qP
26 Nov
-...... 27 NovUNO
. )c-x Nov 28 SR-NO
® ...... 29 Novr
® .. 30 Nov






" ' i:3 ; , IRAU WHL ~



and POSTROFF. The attack was halted by artillery and mortar

fire from VWiOLFSKITCHEN as it approached the bride- 1000 yards

south of the town° Elements of the 102d Panzer Brigade; 2d

Company, 130th Antitank Battalion; and the 1st Company, 35th

Regiment, 25th Panzer Division were defending the town and the

high ground to the east.1, 2An enemy patrol attempted to reach

the bridge and destroy it, but a patrol of Company C, 51st

Armored Infantry Battalion, drove off the enemy and outposted

the bridre. Both battalions halted south of the bridge for the

night, Later that niht the enemy ag:ain tried to destroy the
bridge, but was stopped by small arms fire.

The division ordered Combat Command A to attack to the

north on the east flank of Combat Command B. For this attack,

Colonel WVithers organized Combat Command A into three forces:

the 35th Tank Battalian (reinforced) (see Fi.ure 15), commnanded

by Lieutenant Colonel Oden; the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion

(reinforced) (see Figure 15), under Lieutenant Colonel West;

and a combat corrmand reserve (see Figure 15). At 1300 the Oden

column moved east from KIRRBERG through RAUWILLER-SCHALBACK-

IETTING-SEIWILLERLOHR-OTTlvILLER and closed in an assembly

area near ASSILLER. Colonel West's column followed the Oden

column as far as SCHALBACH, where it turned north toward WEYER,

By dark it ocupied DRULINGEN and outposted the woods to the

north, Neither column met opppsition ,during its movement, as

26 Noveiimber 1944

HNE 35 Wj J35 Dj 35 ceoo

Ai 25 Af-,3Z4 j]7aI
(Less I Plat)
66th Armored Field Artillery Battalion in Direct Support


26 November 1944

94th Armored Field Artillery Bttalion in Direct Support

26 November .1944

35 89I wcEr3zae
the area south of DRULINGEN and ASSWILLER had been cleared by

elements of the 4 4th Division of XV Corps. During the night

the German artillery harassed both 'battalion assembly areas.

On the west of the SARRE the enemy withdrew from

NIEDERSTINZEL and Task Force McKone turned over responsibility

for security of the division left-flank to the 25th Cavalry

Reconnaissance Squadron. The units of the task force reverted

to the control of their parent organizations. By dark the

cavalry had occupied NIEDERSTINZEL and posted patrols through


as far north as the bridge at BONNEFONTaINE.

27 November. 1944

Both columns of Combat, Comnand A launched attacks to the

north on 27 November. The 35th Tank Battalion on the right

attacked DURSTEL at 1100 in the morning, The 2d Battalion,

901st Panzer Grenadier Regiment, 130th. Panzer Lehr Division,

stubbornly resisted the armored attack. 6 ' 7 By 1315 the Oden

column was in the outskirts of the town. At 1750 the mines,

booby-traps, and enemy fire had halted the attack in the town.

The battalion then withdrew to positions southeast of DURSTEL

for the night. The enemy shelled the town very heavily through-

out the ninht,

At 1315, Colonel Westts column attaked from DRULINGEN

to seize GUNGWITLL: and HILL 354 to the north. The attack was
preceded by a sharp artillery preparation on known and suspected

enemy positions. In less than two hours a team composed of two

platoons of infantry -nd a platoon of tanks and tank destroyers

had cleared the town, making good use of grenades, flame throwers,

and rocket launchers. At the same time a team consisting of

two platoons of tanks, with a platoon of infantry riding on the

decks of the tanks, seized the high ground to the north.

On the mornin of 27 November, both columns of Combat

Command B were held up by fire from the woods between EYYILLER

and WOLFSKITiCiLN. An air strike on the woods reduced the enemy

resistance, enabling both columns to advance. By 1730 the 53d

Armored Infantry Battalion had driven the enemy from EYWILLER

and outposted the town for the night.

The left column of Combat Cormand B, consistinr of the

8th Tank Battalion and the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion,

attacked VuiOLFSKIRI.CHEN after first seizing the ground 1000

yards east of the town. By midafternoon the left column had

cleared the town but the intense enemy artillery fire forced

it to remain in the vicinity of JOLFSKIRCHEN for the night. 9

That evenin. the 71st Combat Team of the 44th Division

arrived to support the attack of Combat Command B on the following


Troop B, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadrori, cleared

DIEaEIDORF of elements of the 902d Panzer Grenadier Regiment and

patrolled to the west in the BOIS DE FENETRANGJ. Troop D made

contact with elements of. the 26th Division in the vicinity of


Except for a small delaying detachment in the BOIS

D$EYViILLER, and a few deserters who remained behind, the 130th

Panzer Lehr and the 25th Panzer Grenadier Divisions withdrew

during the night of 27-28 November to a new defensive line

extendine from SARiRE-UNION along the south edge of the BOIS


28 November 1944

The 35th Tank Battalion remained in positions in the

vicinity of ASSWILLER throughout the day.

Colonel - est delayed his attach until the 53d Armored

Infantry Battalion of Combat Command B relieved his force on

the hill north of GUNG!\ILLER, At 1300 the 10th Armored Infantry

Battalion moved toward BETThILLR, They met no opposition in

BETTWIILER, so the column moved REXINGEN. Although

the town was not occupied by the enemy, the roads were heavily

mined and all the bridges had been blown, The column halted in

the vicinity of RX~i

L GE for tah n.ght,while the engineers

worked to repair the bridges and clear the mines.

Combat Command B attacked north on the mornirn of

28 November, with its two armored infantry battalions, one tank

battalion, and. the ,attached regimental combat team. The Jacques

. .' .'
column moved along the east edge o.f the BOIS DE lOLSTHOF to

relieve the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion on the hill north

of GUNGILLER. The column then moved through BERG without

meeting any opposition and organized -positions for the night

on HILL 279, northeast of the town.

The 71st Combat Team cleared the BOIS DIE,YILLER during

the morning.

The left column of Combat Command B waited until the

71st Combat Team had cleared the BOIS D'EYVVILLER, and then

moved forward along the west edge of the woods to BURBACH,

By 1615 that afternoon the 8th Tank Battalion and the 51st

Armored Infantry Battalion had outposted the town of BURBACH

to the north.l2

On the .west of the SARRE, the 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance

Squadron pushed patrols into PISDORF, ZOLLINGEN, SARREWERDEN and


29 November 1944

On the morning of 29 November the 35th Tank Battalion

moved north through DURSTEL to ADAkB ILLER, which it took against

very light opposition. After clearing ADAS ILLER, the column

moved north with the objective of 1MACKV'ILLER. Four' bridges along

the road north of REXINGEN had been blown by the Germans when they

withdrew, The engineers replaced three of the bridges and cleared

the road of mines, but were unable to replace the fourth bridge
is l
1 3V.
until after dark because of the heavy artillery fire falling in

the area: The Oden column bivouacked in the vicinity of REXINGEN

for the night,

The 10th Armored Infantry Battalion remained in REXINGEN

throughout the day, removing mines and booby-traps and replacing

the blown bridges in preparation for the next day's attack.

At 1100 on the 29th, Colonel Jacques ordered Company B,

8th Tank Battalion, and Troop C, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance

Squadron, to seize THAL, The armored task force was unable to

enter THAL, because of a bridge which had been blown. However,

the force by-passed the town and occupied HILL 357, one kilometer

to the north, at 1405 in the afternoon. The infantry with the

Jacques column remained in BERG all day, carin for their vehicles

and equipment-.

In the left of Combat Command B zone, a task force

consisting of Company A, 8th Tank Battalion, and Company B,

51st Armored Infantry Battalion, attacked to the northwest at

0830 to clear the woods and secure HILL 330 overlooking SARRE ThERDEN.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the force attacked north with the

objective of capturing RIMSDORF. The task force was stopped by

infantry and tank fire from elements of the 902d Panzer Grenadier

Regiment in position on HILL 330. The attack by the remainder

of the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion and the 8th Tank Battalion

was halted several hundred yards south of RIkSDORF, where it

encountered the German defensive positions. The entire force


*% -- ~

withdrew to the vicinity of BURBACH, where it bivouacked for the


The 71st Combat Team from' the 44th Division was released

from attachment to Combat Command B. This force remained in the

zone, taking over the area south of the 4th Armored Division

boundary as the 4th Armored Division units moved to the north. 13

In the 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron zone, Troop D

was able to push patrols into the outskirts of SARRE-UNION but

intense small arms and artillery fire forced them to withdraw to

HARSKIRCHEN. Enemy artillery and small arms fire forced Troop B

to withdraw from SiRREWEIRDEN to the vicinity of PISDORF.

XII Corps.issued orders establishing a temporary boundary

between the 4th Armored Division and the 26th Division, giving

the 26th Division the responsibility for capturing SARRE-UNION

and clearing the area north of the line SARRE-UNION - VOELLERDINGEN

- SCHITTVILLE - GROS REDERCHING. The objective of the 4th

Armored Division was moved from the vicinity of SCHJV.ITTVILLE to

the high ground north of ROHRBACH-LES-BITCHE, including a portion

of the defenses of the Maginot Line in that area. 1

During the night of 29-30 November the elements of the

110th Panzer GrenadierRegimeft and a company from the 11th Panzer

Reconnaissance Battalion, who had been defending SARRE-UNION,

withdrew to a defense line along the south edge of LE GRAND BOIS.1

Some of these troops later reoccupied the town to oppose the 26th

Division's attack,
30 November 1944

On the right of the division zone the Oden column

remained in position in the vicinity of REXINGEN throughout

the day. At 1500 in the afternoon, following a short artillery

preparation, the 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, which had been

reinforced by its Company B the night before, attacked to the

north and seized the high ground one mile southeast of .ACKViILLER.

They consolidated their positions on the hill and repulsed an

enemy counterattack consisting of infantry and tanks,

In the Combat Command B sector, the infantry companies

of the 53d Armored Infantry Battalion moved from BERG to HILL 357,

which the tank units with the battalion had seized the previous day,

The 51st Armored Infantry Battalion and the 8th Tank

Battalion remained in position in the vicinity of BURBACH and made

preparations for -the next day's attack.

On 30 November the German High Command alerted the 130th

Panzer Lehr Division for movement into the ARDENES sector. The

division made plans to pull out of the area, but the movement was

delayed until the 11th Panzer Division could extend to the south-

east to-cover the line which the Panzer Lehr.units were holding.

The relief was further delayed by the fact that the division was

short of gasoline and unable to move many of its vehicles, All

elements of the division were not clear of the area until

6 December1
17, 18
6 Dec ember ,
A R (m)
R Em IJ% ;',


....... .....
MM am,. 3 DEC
' 3NF
,,,...., .,..... I DEC SIN L I G.

rr x wr 5 DEC 4 ROHACH

A365 w LES -8ITCHE

,...... . ... 6 DEC
ACHEN q i>* r
l ll


Q- !1 :,3Y3


= ti -



, It

try' J / t ' " ' [":'1 _


E ,^ EGG ' _ rJ C

n fro i " ; j : " l (? } ' d

G l i

30 0

VO 1E E I?
(r bo



r //~y
AR ETA - -


c u.,1A

0 3000 l1050 3oc
1 December 1944
(See Figure6

For the .4th Armored Division attack on 1 December, the

51st Armored Infantry Battalion, together with the 8th Tank

Battalion, had the mission of seizing RIMSDORF and the woods

immediately to the north of the town. The 53d Armored Infantry

Battalion had as its objective HILL 318, one mile north of

MACK rILLER. The 35th Tank Battalion received the mission of

seizing DOiFESSEL and establishing a bridgehead over the EICHEL

RIVER as soon as the Jacques column had taken HILL 318,

The Churchill column found RIAiSDORF unoccupied by the

enemy and immediately moved on to their objective in the woods

north of RI1MSDORF. By 1100 they had consolidated on their

objective, Shortly after noon, elements of .the 11th Panzer

Division, consisting of tanks and infantry,. counterattacked

the position unsuccessfully. ivMajor Van Arnam was wounded in

this attack and Captain Harry J. Rockafeller assumed command

of the battalion,

To the west the 53d Armored Infantry Battalion attack

was stopped short of the BOIS LE FAESSBUSCH, where elements of

the 901st Panzer Grenadier Regiment and the 25th Panzer Grenadier

Division were entrenched. When Colonel Jacques' column was unable

to make any further advance, division ordered Colonel Oden to

attack to the north to seize HILL 318L At 1200 Company B, 35th

Tank Battalion, with Company B, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion,

riding on the decks of its tanks, attacked through the line of

Combat Comimand., Just short of the crest of HILL 318 the tanks

mired down. A task force consisting of Company A, 35th Tank

Battalion, and Company C, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, moved

to the flank to support the assault. By 1425 the combined forces

had captured the hill, forcing the enemy to withdraw to the north,

Lieutenant Colonel West, commanding officer of the 10th

Armored Infantry Battalion, was wounded while making a reconnaissance

for positions from which his unit could support the attack on

HILL 318. iajor Cohen assumed command of the battalion.1 9

2 December 1944

In the Combat Command A sector, tanks and infantry from

the 107th Panzer Brigade (attached to the 25th Panzer Grenadier

Division) launched an attack at 0300 against the 10th Armored

Infantry Battalion positions west of 1TVCK7,ILLER. 2 0 Five enemy

tanks came up to the infantry positions, spraying the foxholes

with machine gun fire. When the infantry had beaten off the

attack, the enemy left over 30 dead in the area.

Both Combat Command A columns remained in their previous

day's locations except for a task force consisting of Company B,

35th Tank Battalion and Company B, 10th Armored 'Infantry Battalion,

which assisted the Jaccues column in clearing the BOIS LE FAESSBUSCH

and occupied HILL 337,

The 53d Armored Infantry Battalion moved through RIMSDORF

and then attacked northeast along the RIMSDORF-DOkFESSLL highway

to HILL 309. They met very little resistance and occupied the

objective at 1400 where they organized positions for.the night.

At 0700 the enemy launched a counterattack from the vicinity

of DOMFESSEL against the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion positions.

lMortar and small arms fire was sufficient to drive it off. At 0900

the infantry, together with the 8th Tank Battalion, attacked north

through the woods. By 1215 the leading units had crossed the

SARRE-UNION - DOaFESSEL highway. North of the highway they

assisted the 1st Battalion, 101st Infantry, 26th Division, in

clearing the wood west of MILL 332. By 1500 the column had driven

the enemy from HILL 332 and had consolidated positions there.

Throughout the day tactical air reported concentrations of enemy

tanks in the woods south and southwest of VOELLERDINGEN, However,

the battalion attacking HILL 332 made no contact with the enemy


kajor Dan C. Alanis assumed command of the 51st Armored

Infantry Battalion.

The 25th Cavalry Rec.onnaissance Squadron continued its

mission of maintaining contact with the 26th Division on the

left flank.
3 December 1944

All the front line units used the day to improve their

positions and prepare for the next day's attack. The 26th Division,

on the left, was having trouble in clearing SARR.E-UNION. The 37th

Tank Battalion, which had been in Reserve Co-ianci, was attached to

Combat Comrmand k and moved into an assembly area south of RIkSDORF.

The division ordered Company A, 37th Tank Battalion, to assist

the 26th Division in its attack on SARRE-UNION, but the company

was unable to make contact with the enemy, so it bivouacked south

of SARREERDEN for the night,

During the night elements of the 25th Panzer Grenadier

Division infiltrated into the BOIS LE FAESSBUSCH. The Combat

Command A units in the area spent most of the day clearing the

woods and reinforcing their outposts in that vicinity.

At 0815 the Combat Command B positions on HILL 332 received

small arms and mortar fire from the woods to the west. The 8th

Tank Battalion cleared the woods by 0945 and outposted them to

prevent further infiltration. Later in the day. the 8th Tank

Battalion knocked out four enemy tanks as they emerged from the

woods between DOkF

'ESSEL and HILL 332. Apparently these tanks

were part of the' enemy armor reported by the Air Force the previous


iMajor General Hugh J-. Gaffey, Third Army Chief-of-Staff,

replaced Major General John S. Wilood as the division commander,



I C953 Af5S

A fjn c 24 B o


~J66 LJ%9
EJ 94S5 (155-lwW)
Brigadier General Herbert L. Earnest also joined the division

and assumed command of Combat Command A. Major Albin F. Irzyk

replaced Major Churchill in command of the 8th Tank Battalion, 22

The division issued orders attaching the 10th Armored

Infantry Battalion to Combat Command B, and the 53d Armored

Infantry Battalion to Combat Command A. ThTith the 37th Tank

Battalion attached to Combat Commrand A, all of the tank battalions

and armored infantry battalions were available for action with

the assaulting combat commands. (See Figure 17).

4 December 1944

At 0430 on the morning of 4 December, a patrol from

Troop A, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, reconnoitered

DOMFESSEL and reported that it was lightly held. After a

thirty-minute artillery preparation the Oden column, which

included the 53d Armored Infantry Battalion, attacked the town.

By 1010 they were in the town, clearing the 2d Company, 111th

Panzer Grenadier Regiment out of the buildins. Vehicles in

the column were unable to move into the town because of the

debris and three large craters which blocked the streets. By

1300, elements of the 53d Armored Infantry Battalion were out-

posting the high .round to the northeast 'across the EICHEL RIVER.

Companies A and C, 24th Armored Engineer Battalion, spent the

balance of the day and most of the night filling the craters,

clearing the debris from the streets, erecting two 36-foot

treadway bridges and constructing an 80-foot floating bridge

over the EICHEL RIVER.

Throughout the day the enemy artillery pounded the town,

The 35th Tank Battalion lost three tanks to enemy artillery fire

and two others which struck mines,

The 8th Tank Battalion and the 10th Armored Infantry

Battalion attacked at 0930 to seize VOELLERDIIGEN and a crossing

over the EICHELTVER. Prior to the attack the artillery fired

a 30-minute preparation on enemy positions in the woods north

of HILL 332 and in VOELLERDINGENo Shortly after jumping off,

German antiaircraft and small arms fire from the woods to the

north and east halted the attack. The infantry cleared the woods

by 1130
Qandtho attack continued, .As the tanks started down the

hill toward VOELLLFRDIIGEE they were attacked on their left flank

by ten tanks from the 15th Panzer Regiment, 11th Panzer Division.24, 25

After a short fight in which two enemy tanks were knocked out,

the remainder withdre.w. By 1700 a company of infantry .a.nd a

company of tanks had pushed through the town, and captured the

bridge across the EICHEL RIVER intact,

A platoon of infantry, supported by seven tanks, crossed

the bridge and outposted the north bank. At 2030 they repulsed

a German patrol from the 111th Panzer Grenadier Regiment attempt-

ing to destroy the bridge.

Company A of the 37th Tank Battalion, attempting to enter

SARRE-UNION in support of the 101st Regiment s attack, engaged

three enemy tanks and destroyed one, By late afternoon the 26th

Division had overrun SARRE-UNION and the tank company returned to

the 37th Tank Battalion area,

5 December 1944

The division objectives for the attack on 5 December were

the towns of BINING and ROHRBACH-LES-BITCHE, in the south fringe

of the Maginot Line. It rained steadily throughout the day,

denying the division air support and hampering .ovement of vehicles

off the road. In the Cormbat Command A sector, the 35th Tank

Battalion and the 53d Armored Infantry Battalion, attacked at

1015 to expand the bridgehead over the EICH L KIVEiL north of

DOMFESSEL. By 1200 they had established a line just south of

DBHINGEN. Shortly after noon the 37th Tank Battalion attacked

through the position of the 35th Tank Battalion in a northeasterly

direction along the high ground. The soft condition of the terrain

forced the tanks to remain on the roads most of the time, As they

reached HILL 349, they were subjected to intense artillery and

direct tank fire from the north and west.

Company A1deployed to the left to neutralize, the enemy

fire coming from that flank, while Company C deployed to attack

SINGLING from the south, As the Company C tanks left HILL 348
in their advance toward SINGLING .they began to sink into the mud,

When the tanks, slowed to a speed of three to four miles per hour

by the mud, had advanced to a point 800 yards south of SINGLING,

tanks of the 15th Panzer Regiment and the 61st Antitank Battalion

opened fire., In a few minutes the enemy destroyed eleven American

tanks. In addition to the direct fire, intense artillery fire

from the direction of HILL 384 fell in the area. 1ith one company

almost completely destroyed and the enemy with fire superiority,

Colonel Abrams withdrew to the vicinity of HILL 349 for the night.2 6

Throughout the attoak the 94th Armored ield .rtillery

Battalion fired smoke along the ridges south of KULHAUSEN and

ETTING and to the east of ACHEN to blind the enemy observation.

By midafternoon Battery C displaced to the vicinity of SCHNiJTTVILLE

to support the attack by fire in SINGLING and to the north.

At 1200 the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion and Company B,

704th Tank Destroyer Battalion, were ordered to move from DOMFESSEL

to support the 37th Tank Battalion attack. However, the tanks

jumped off before the .infantry was able to join them. At 1700

the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion entered SCH-ITTVILLE, where

it halted for the night.

Combat Command B had as objectives SINGLING and RIKING

(four miles north of BINING). The attack jum ed off with the

infantry of the :Oth Armored Infantry Battalion riding on the

tanks of the 8th Tank Battalion, Enemy rear guard elements in

the NICHELSBUSCH woods harrassed the column. The advance was

delayed until the infantry cleared the woods. The muddy ground

slowed the movement of the tanks so the column was forced to

halt with the head of the column just north of the OERUVNGEN -


6 December 1944

For the attack on 6 December the division gave Combat

Command A the objective of BINING and Combat Command B the

objective of SINGLING. Colonel Abrams attacked northeast from

HILL, 349 at 0830with infantry from the 51st Aramored Infantry

Battalion ridingz on the tanks of the 37th Tank Battalion,...The

94th Arrored Field Artillery Battalion fired concentrations on


on the high ground between the towns. To screen the movement

along HILL 346, the artillery smoked the south edge of SINGLING.

In spite of the artillery fire, tanks from the 15th Panzer Regiment

and self-propelled antitank guns of the 61st Antitank Battalion

(both of the 11th Panzer Division) engaged the 37th Tank Battalion

column as it moved north toward HILL 346,29' lghough Combat

Command B had been given the mission of $~tig 'IlNGLiNG is leading

units were still in the vicinity of SCHMITTVILLE. Realizing that

the fire from SINGLING must be silenced before he could attack

BINING, Colonel Abrams ordered his Company B, with Company B,

51st Armored Infantry Battalion, riding on its tanks, to attack

and hold SIiGLING while the remainder of the battalion attacked

toward BIING.

By 1300 the two companies had cleared the south two-thirds

of SINGLING, but they were unable to dislodge several tanks and

a self-propelled gun in the west end of the town. Shortly before

dark the two companies were relieved by Company B, 10th Armored

Infantry Battalion. hen Company C, 8th Tank Battalion, started

to enter the town its leading tank was knocked out by an enemy

tank (or self-propelled gun) located in the west end of the town.

The tank company, when it encountered more tank fire to the east

of the town, withdrew to the reverse slope of the hill 400 yards

south of SINGLING. About midnight Company B, 10th Armored Infantry

Battalion, also fell back to the vicinity of Company C, 8th Tank

:attalion, where they dug in. 3 1

Late in the day the balance of the Abrams column, reinforced

by a force consisting of the 1st Battalion, 320th Infantry (which

had been attac.hed to Combat Command A at 0300 that morning), and

Company D, 37th Tank Battalion, attacked BININGC. In this attack

the two columns received direct fire support from the 35th Tank

Battalion and the 53d Armored Infantry Battalion, which had moved

through RAHLING and occupied positions on HILL 343. The 37th and

328th attacks carried into the outskirts of BINING, where they

halted for the night.

Combat Command B moved forward at 0830 to attack SINGLING

from the west, but was halted by artillery fire and direct tank

fire. By late afternoon Company B, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion,

and Company C, 8th Tank Battalion, were in the process of relieving

Combat Command A units in SINGLING--the remainder of the columns

were in positions along the northwestern slopes of HILLS 346 and


Late that evening the division received orders to secure

their present positions and to make no further attack plans, as

the 12th Armored Division was going to relieve the 4th Armored

Division, beginning at 0700 the next morning.

7 - 8 December 1944

The 12th Armored Division moved into the division zone

during the 7th, but relief of front line, units did not begin

until 2100. By noon on 8 December all of the units of the 4th

rmored Division, except the artillery and the 704th Tank Destroyer

Battalion, which remained to support the 12th Armored Division

until its artillery arrived, moved to towns west of the SARRE


.GE and MITTERSI IM, where they went into

billets to rest, reorganize, and re4e~ip .

From 26 Nivermbler to 7 Decomber 1944 tb; 4th Akrrored

Division made a rapid advance to the hkaginot Line. The operations

of the two Co.mbat Co.r°ands were eff .ctive and well coordinated.
In their push north the resistance of the German forces remained

stubborn and terrain conditions were but slightly improved.

After 30 days of combat most of which was performed under extreme

conditions, the Division well deserved the opportunity to rest

and rehabilitate their units and equipment.


After Action Report, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,

G-2 Periodic Report 4104.

2After Action Report, XII Corps, Noveober 1944, G-2 Periodic

Report 106.

Co!mbat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Item 26.
After 'Iction Report, CCA, 4th armored Division, November
1944, p 4.
After Action Report, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron,
November 1944, p 8,

Gen Lt en,' von Tietersheim, rEmployrent of the 11th Panzer
Division in Lo er Lorraine, Rhineland Part II, p 13.

fter Action Report, XII Corps, November 1944, G-2 Periodic
Report 4106.

,ivlajor Hugh F. Young, "Reinforced rmorred Infantry Team in

the attack of a Town," a student monograph (Fort Knox, The Armored
School), pp 11-18,

9Combat History, 4th Armored Division, November 1944,

Item 27.
0After acti n Report, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron,
November 1944, pp 8-9..

110o cit, eitersheim, pp 12-13.

Combat History,. 4th Armored Division, November 1944,
Itemr 28.

131bid, Item 29.

14After 1ction Report, XII Corps, November 1944, Annex 1

and 2, p 78.

150p cit, 'eitersheim, p 13.

16Ibid, pp 13-14.

17Letter, He Air P/I Interrogation Detechment, IIS, APWIU-

(Ninth AF Adv) 63/1945, 372,2, APO 696, US Army, "A Crack German
Panzer Division and What Allied Air Power did to it Between D-Day
and V-Day" (130th Panzer Lehr Division conmmaned by Gen Lt Fritz
Bayerlein), p 113.
After Action Report, XII Corps, December 1944, G-2
Periodic Reports 111 and 112,

19Combat History, 4th Armored Division, December 1944,

Item 1,
After .ction Report, 4th Armored Division, December 1944,
G-2 Periodic Report rll19.

Combat History, 4th Armored Division, December 1944,
Item 2.
Ibi, Item 3.
Ibid, Item 4.
0p cit, "eitersheim, pp 14-16.

After Action Report, XII Corps, December 1944, G-2
Periodic Report :113.

2 6 Interview, Captain James H. Leach, formerly Company

Corrmander, Company B, 37th Tank Battalion,

Interview, Lt Col Robert l. Parker, Jr., formerly
Commanding Officer, 94th Armored Field Artillery Battalion,

28Combat History, 4th Armored Division, December 1944,

Item 5,
0p cit, eitersheim, pp 14-16.

After Action Report, XII Corps, December 1944, G-2 Periodic
Reports -115 and 116.

Small Unit Actions, Historical Division, War Department,
pp 176-212.
Combat History, 4th Armored Division, December 1944,
Item 6.

1bid, Items 7 and 8,


The operation just completed lasted 30 days. The gains

achieved were minor compared to those of previous campaigns,

For these gains the 4th Armored Division lost 46 tanks and 33

personnel carriers. Little advantage was gained over the enemy

in a material way; however, in personnel losses the enemy

suffered much more than did the 4th Armored Division (see Annex

III). From the personnel losses in the division, the bitterness

of the fighting can easily be realized. Major Earl 1I. ericle,

division psychiatrist, states that weather and enemy action

made this campaign probably the most severe of the war for the

4th Armored Division (see Annex III'. The record of 720 men

being treated for combat exhaustion bears out this assumption.

Trench foot also took its terrible toll, It must be remembered

that it rained or snowed on 15 out of the total of 30 days

(see Weather Summary, Annex II).

The Germans were able to inflict heavy losses while

conducting an orderly withdrawal to the Seigfried Line by

ingenious use of forces and terrain. After the first shock

of the attack had passed, the enemy skillfully divided his

armored units into small ambush. forces and ' sisted over a wide

front. Knowing the weather had canalized our forces to the

roads, he was not only able to inflict losses and slow the

attack, but was able to extricate his forces from positions

that would normally be overrun or outflanked. Flotation of

the German vehicles was better than the American. By using

economy of forces,2 he was able to maintain a strong mobile

force to be used in emergencies. Thus, the enemy forced

the 4th Armored Division to attack on a wide front. The

weather compelled the division to exploit the local road net.

Canalized on the roads by mud it was vulnerable to numerous

ambuscades, The terrain played into th hands of the enemy

by offering favorable defensive positions from which he could

choose the terrain on which he would fight and from which he

could withdraw over known routes. The enemy lwas further able

to block, by demolitions and mines, routes of approach that

were made narrow by the mud, Together, the terrain, the weather,

and the ingenious enemy wvere able to contain the attack of the

aggressive 4th Armored Division within the SA- FP-hiOSiLLE area,

rment of the lth Armored Division

From the preparation and: plans, it is shown that the

Ath Armored Division was ex :ected to attack Through the bridgehead

of the 35th Infantry Division,. In order to exploit the local

successes of .the infantry division, a formation of column of

combat commands was planned, Inasmuch as the initial attack of

the 35th Division did not gain the success expected, the 4th

Armored Division was employed to hasten the making of the

penetration, The late hour (around noon) at which Combat Command B

attacked brings home the realization that the planned offensive

was not going as expected. The attack of Combat Command B went

well until intense enemy resistance was encountered near FONTENY

and ThdNOCOUIT. Combat Command A was then committed to the south

in the zone of the 26th Infantry Division to exploit the road

net and successes in that area. This movement provided an

envelopement against the :orces opposing Conbat Command B. The

attack of Combat Command A went well and might have achieved the

opening for exploitation except for a series. of events. These

events were well executed counterattacks bF enemy economy forces

that caused delays at critical times, Vhen Combat Command A

reached RODABLE on 12 November there existed a break in the

German lines between the 11th Panzer Division on the north and

the 361st Volks Gr .nadier Division to the south. 3

According t.

testimony of the Cdmmanding General, lth Panzer Division, this

penetration remained unchallenged for a period of about six hours.

Since the enveloping movement had gone well, Combat C mmand

A attempted to advance north from the vicinity of RODABLE to the

objective and inbercept the withdrawal of enemy forces from the

west. This constituted an exploitation objective. The advance

failed when the enemy counterattacked from the commanding terrain

north of the railroad in that vicinity. Combtl Comia nd' A also

lost some. of its attacking force in the mud around RODA'lE that

day, The Germans were hurrying their reinforcement in this area

to close the gap between their two divisions.4

With Combat Command B fighting around. HANNOCOURT and

Combat Command A around RODABLE, a change of plan was initiated

at corps and an objective east of SABRE UNION was given to the

division. The division was able to slug its way to FRANCALTROFF

by constant changing of direction and probing for any opening

likely to lead to success, These feints and jabs were usually

made with small task forces,

After several changes of plans, Combat Command B was

committed at DIEUZE on 19 November. Steady progress was made

over the extensive road net in this area. At times, roads

extending three or four miles to the north of the axis of

advance were used, The SARR- was reached at FEI\ETRANGE and a

crossing was effected at ROL,LFING. Combat Co .mand B moved

across the SAS E and met the 130th Panzer Lehr Division that had

been rushed to reinforce the falling German defenses.

Combat Comnand A followed across the SABRE and the

division attacked with two combat commands abreast. The terrain

east of the SARRE was tankable and the attack gained impetus',

The characteristics of mobility and maneuverability were finally

regained and the Germans were in for some violent shock action

, a la 4th Armored Division",

The final phase of the operation was one of euick

dazzling action. The advance to SINGLING and BINING had been

described by Mlajor General Bayerlein, Cmnanding General, 130th

Panzer Lehr Division, as the most skillfully executed armored

maneuver of the war. ' The reader has only to leok at the

record of the 4th Armored Division before and after the action

herein described to realize that the units of this division

wa re masters in the art of overrunning small units of resistance,.

In retrospect, it is desirable to visualize what might have

happened had o~n~ the weather been good. Remember on tie:

initial assault, CC "BiT achieved outstanding success in destroying

enemy units near HANNOCOURT If mud had not prevented the

coordination,with CC "B", of maneuver and fire power, in the

envelop.ment by CC "A" from 10 November to 12 November 1944, the

1lth Panzer Division might not have remained intact to achieve

such a notable r.:cord for the German Army. Resistance. that

normally would hasve been "Duck-Soup, to the Armored Division,

was able to inflict losses and delay in this action. The reader

will surely agree that every type of maneuver and every trick

of the, armored trade was tried by the 4th Armored in this operation,

The 4th Armored Division personnel wore the same type

combat jackets and trousers they started with on 9 November.

Some personnel took arctic sleeping bags into the oNeration,

but most still used the rolled blanket. Shoe pacs and artic

gloves-were not available. Overshoes had been availea le in

limited sizes and numbers. Trench foot had finally been brought

under satisfactory control. The majority of the key personnel

were the same that started at MALAUCOURT however, they were much

more battlewise. From ALAUCOUT to SINGLING. had been mostly mud

and blood-..
Major General John S. Wood was lost to the division

on 3 December because of ill health, but his leadership and

influence was to be felt as long as the division remained active,

Few leaders have been able to project their will Lnd personality

so completely upon their command as did this revered and beloved

commander of the 4th Armored Division.

Before attempting to reach conclusions concerning factors

that affected operations of this armored division, which started

this campaign with such a distinguished record, the following

facts must be consideredj.

(1) This operation of the 4th Armored Division was

a part of a general offensive of 12th Army Group, of Third U. S.

Army, and of XII Corps, As such, the operation. had its appointed

place in a gigantic scheme of maneuvers

(2) The operation was planned with the intent and

assumption that it would be launched in favorable weather (recall

the allocation of air support and postponements due to bad weather,

Also, General Patton's setting of the time of attack).

(3) The German forces opposing the XII Corps were

more concentrated in the northern sector of the corps zone with a

r serve at ST AVOLD in the north. The southern part of the corps

zone was weakest in enemy strength, but the terrain was low and

possessed water obstacles.

Conclus ions

The key to any conclusions drawn frorm this cnelysis stems

from and lies within the realm of. combat intelligence, namely,

the uncertainties concerning the enemy, the weather, and the

terrain. These three factors have intergrated functions in .a

military operation. For example, bad weather aids the defender

in that he is able to use the terrain to better advantage with

less danger of outflanked or enveloped, The attacker, on

the other hand, desires good weather so that he is able to mass

his superior strength to gain a decision. After due consideration

of all factors affecting-the operetion, the following conclusions

are set forth:

k. That armor can be used as an economy force over

extended frontages in the defense during extremely unfavorable


In this respect the action of the 11th Panzer Division

in the defense of the sector opposing the XII Corps was very

notable, It bolstered the weakened Volks Grenadier Divisionst

lines by use of small groups of armor, usually two or three tanks.

These small groups, fighting from selected positions, were able

to ambush canalized vehicles and to slow the advance of superior

forces, These small forces posed serious obstacles for infantry

attacks and necessitated that armor be employed against them. In

being able to select the areas in which it fought, the enemy armor

was not bothered by lack of maneuverabilitV. Withdrawals over

pre-selected routes were accomplished with ease.. The ettacking

armor, on the other hand, was forced to attack on a wide front in

order to exploit or develop the road net. Being canalize:d, the

attacking armor was delayed and contained by iiincs, demolitions,

and the small groups of armor. This economical use of forces by

the defender madc possible the use of strong reserve forces to

counter the more serious threats,.

B. That armored units will sometimes be given missions

in weather and over terryin unfavorable for t>e use of tanks. That

the present ecrui pment of the armored division does not allow for

cross country mobility under extreme conditions. Consequently,

there will be times when armor is forced to fight on a one tank,

front, or se:is thereof not mutually supporting,

Discussion: The presence of enemy armor and the necessity

to secure an objective in a short time will often outweigh the

disadvantage imposy.d by weather in planning an attack. Infantry

divisions will not be expected to assume armor's role of fighting

armor merely because the weather is bad. Therefore, armor must

be prepared to fight under these conditions. It must practice

the exploitation of road nets and be prepared to slug it out with

stubborn resistance from these nets, The inevitable outcome of

such action will be a high attrition of strength on both sides,

Pending development of more cross country mobility in the equipment

of the armored division, the present doctrine of developing or

exploitihg the road net is the only course open to the attacker

under these conditions,

Recommenda tions

In view of the conclusions reached, the following

recommendations are set forth:

A. The development of the cross country maneuver

capability of future equipment of the armored division be stressed

along with 'the other important capabilities.. This capability will

enable the armored division to mass its fire power at desired

points to gain decisions under unfavorable weather conditions.

B. That the U. S. Army promulgate a doctrine for the

employment of armor in the attack during unfavorable weather

only when the need for the early seizure of the objective is

most urgent or desireble

Discussions Care must bE exercised (in the planning

phase of an operation) for the committment of armor. It is the

most potent attacking force in the'Type Field Army, even on the

defensive, its actions are aggressive. To comit it in a slugfest

against., aud and terrain may destroy its inherent aggressive-

ness as well as its j.aterial and human, figting capabilities.


The E loyment of the llth Panzer Division in Lorraine,
Part II, r ort by en Lt Tend von 'ietersheim,
10 January 1947

G-2 hcport 7-104, 4th krmored Division, 26-27 November
1944, Item. 167, FS 600-86, Reel 8,
30p cit, iiet rsheim,
4 11.
O cit,,Ticitersheim, pp 7,

Small Unit Actions, Singling, 4th Armored Pivision,
6 December 1944, ( ashington, D. C., Historical Division,
Var Department, 4 April 1946), p 177.

Letter, Hq Air P/T' Interrogation Detachment, U1IS, APWIU

(Ninth AF Adv) 63/1945, 372.2, APO 696, US Army, "A Crack German
Panzer Division and what Allied Air Power did to it between D-Day
.nd V-Day," (130th Panzer Lehr Division, coirmmanded by Gen Lb
Fritz Bayerlein), p 14.
o o 0 0 0 0
o 0 0
_ _i _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
U. 7
Q- ' m~
$31.1VSV fi0 I ". rfllw

PERSONNEL Armored Division Casualties

9 November 1944 to 30 November 1944

Killed in Wounded in kissing in

Date Action Action Action
Off EM Off Ek:: Off EM

9 November 1 22 2 54 0 0
10 November 3 28 5 64 2 6
11 November 10 36 10 29 0 0
12 November 1 "5 1 45 2 2
13 November 0 6 4 34 0 5
14 November 1 13 3 63 0 0
15 November 0 11 3 104 0 3
16 November 0 0 0 0 0 0
17 November 0 0 0 0 0 0
18 November 0 0 0 0 0 0
19 November 1 5 1 13 0 0
20 November 0 5 4 22 0 0
21 November 3 3 0 6 0 0
22 November 0 1 0 2 0 0
23 November 0 3 0 4 0 0
24 November 1 11 2 33 0 2
25 November 0 15 3 49 0 9
26 November 0 5 0 19 0 0
27 November 1 8 5 59 0 1
28 November 0 11 0 15 0 0
29 November 0 3 0 25 0 3
30 November ? ? . .

A. Killed: 22 Officers, 198 Enlisted Men

B, Wounded: 47 Officers, 758 Enlisted lkeh
C, ,hissing: 5 Officers, 33 Enlisted Men


Nonbattle Casualties for entire month: 29 Officers,

1108 Enlisted ien,

Trench foot on increase; 44 cases reported in past four

days (12 November 19 4 4).

425 cases of trench foot and 399 cases of combat exhaustion

during the' month.

Returned to duty:

A. From battle casualties: 11 Officers, 197 Enlisted Men.

B. From nonbattle casualties: 9 Officers, 207 Enlisted Men,..

C, Replacements: 95 Officers, 836 Enlisted Men,

Strength of Division, 30 November 1944:

616 Officers, 51 ,arrant Officers, 9841 Enlisted Men.

A-. A W RDS .

1. DISTINGUISIHD SERVICE CROSS Lieutenant Colonel Creighton

W. Abranis, Comnmanding Officer, 37th Tank Battalion. For extr.ardinary

heroism against the enemy near ARRACOURT, FR..NCE, 20 September 1944,

2. SILVER STAR - 52, with 9 Oak Leaf Clusters.

3. T
BRONE ST -. 290, with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters.

4. AIR EDAL - One, with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters.

5. PURPLE HEART - 204 (awarded by Division).

., A letter was received on 20 November 1944 from Lieutenant General

George C. Patton, Jr., Conimanding General, Third United States Army,

pertaining to the serious menace of trench foot. He said that-the

responsibility for the prevention of trench foot rested with both

officers and men, General Patton also made some sound recommendations

to be followed to decrease the incidence of the disease,

Enemy Casualties

9 November 1944 to 30 November 1944

+.h..:....riw Ir ++.-"'°Y
rI-o + + w++.w.Yw: w + ++ *!1.w t-w~r .. +r-.r ,.ws w+. .. w.Mrwr
n..- ... _ r}:...

Date Killed Wounded Taken - zP_ RK3
;--'-;--~-7-T-?--~~-- rYP~ ~
IIU3-F - -

9 November 0 0 57 559th-48th Inf Div

10 November 378 0 189 -
11 November 328 (Est) 0 188
12 November O 0 448
13 November 52 0 50
14 November 52 0 59
15 November 50 20 18
16 November 0 00
17 November 0. 0 0
18 November 0
19 November 12
20 November 0
21 November 0
22 November No contact with the enemy
23 November 25 0 11. (12 PWI deserters)
24 November 60 140
25 November 113 150 47
26 November 50 125 30
27 November 122 138 72
28 November 0 0
29 November 10 0.
30 November
~rl ~9"~c"~;'"*w"~"e~""~'~~l"~~u~
0 -Y~----- rrrulr~-
0 -~CIY- w-a~ - l--aul-ru~ ~----- ---

.A. Killed: 1575 (estimated)

B;. Wounded: 939 (estimated)

C. Prisoners of War: 1095

SOne prisoner of war captured possessing circular which

accurately described our armored vehicles.

4th Armored Division Casualties

1 December 1944 to 10 December 1944

Ill)--IU1---l-ll~ -IU Il~ ~Y~P~NI - ~I~ I

Killed in Wounded in Missing in
Date Action Action Action RENARKS
Off EM Off EM Off EM
PC L i II--~---. --. -- ,,~,,

1 December 3 14 9 57 0 0
2 December 0 13 4 44 0 0
3 December 0 6 2 32 0 4
4 December 1 13 4 35 0 0
5 December 1 13 2 17 O 00'
6 December 0 13 1 25 0 1
7 December 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 December 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 December 0 '0 0 0 0 0
10 December 0 0 0 0 0 0
-r~-an-._ -n

A. Killed: 5 Officers, 72 Enlisted Men.

B. ounded: 22 Officers, 232 Enlisted en.

C. hissing: 5 Enlisted Men.

V r -3D-~C*II- ~-~LIII

Enemy Casualties

1 December 1944 to 10 December 1944

De te illed Wounded Taken Remark s

1 December 75 100 23
2 December 55 100 21
3 December 50 125 13
4 December 50 83 131
5 December 1 0 69
6 December 60 10 156
7 December 0 0 0
8 December 0 0 0
9 December 0 0 0
10 December 0 0 0
~ar~-rrrr~r*l-----rcr rm-* -

A. Killed: 291 B. Wounded: 418 C. Prisoners: 413

NOTE: All figures taken from G-3 Journal, 4th Armored Division,
9 November 1944 to 7 December 1944,


Divisions facing the XII Corps during the period 8 November 1944 -

7 December 1944, and their estimated strengths:

Units 8 Nov 11 Nov 20 Nov 7 Dec

17 SS Pz Gren Div 1,500* 3,000. Remnants .3,000

48 Inf Div 1,200* 3,500 Remnants

559 Volks Gren Div 4,000 2,500 Remnants

361 Volks Gren Div 7,000 4,000 3,500

11 Pz Div (in reserve

initially)** 3,000 5,000 3,500 4,000

553 Gren Div 1.,000* 1,000-

36 Inf Div 3,000 1,000

25 Pz Gren Div 2, 500-%

130 Pz Lehr Div 4,000

Nondivi.siona l unit s,
including those in
reserve 5,800 5,400 3500 2,000.

Totals 22,500 24,000 ? 23,500

Estimated Tanks and

Assault Guns 75 100 100

* The entire division was not facing XII Corps.

This division came out of reserve on the night of 8 November

and entered the lines in the zone of the 26th and 35th Infantry
Divisions and the 4th Armored Division.,

i According to the Commanding General of thle l1th Panzer Division,

Gen Lt LVend von Lietersheim, the strength of this division on
30 November 1944 was 600 officers and men....
Units that Opposed the 4th Armored Division

during the period 8 November 1944- 7 December 1944

11th Pz Division 17th SS Pz Gren Division

110 Pz Gren Regt 37 SS Pz Gren Regt

111 Pz Gren Regt 38 SS Pz Gren Regt
15 Pz Regt 17 SS Pz Bn
11 Pz Rcn Bn 17 SS Pz Rcn Bn
119 Pz hrty Regt 17 SS Pz irty Regt
209 Pz Engr Bn 17 SS Pz Engr En
61 AT Bn 17 SS Pz AT EBn
277 Flak Bn 17 SS Pz Sig Bn
89 Pz Sig En 17 SS Pz Repl Bn
11 Pz Escort Co
119 Pz Repl Bn 36th Inf Division

25 Pz Gren Division 11 Inf. Regt

165 Inf tegt
2107 Pz Gren Regt 87 Inf R.egt
119 Pz Gren Regt 268 Arty Regt
36 Pz Gren Regt 36 AT En
25 Pz Arty Regt 36 Assault Gun Bn
25 Pz AT En 36 _ngr Bn
25 Engr Bn 36 Fus En
107 Pz Brig 36 Sig Bn
36 ep1 Bn
48th In.f Division
361st Gren Division
126 Inf Regt
127 Inf Regt 951 Gren Regt
128 Int Regt 952 Gren Regt
148 Arty Regt 953 Gren Regt
401 Arty Brig 361 Engr Bn
361 Arty Regt
130th Pz Lehr Division 361 iT Bn

901 Pz Gren Regt 559th Gren Division

902 Pz Gren Regt
903 Pz.Lehr Tk Regt 1125 Gren Regt
130 Pz Arty Regt 1126 Gren Regt
130 AT Bn 1127 Gren Regt
130 Pz Engr Bn 1559 Arty Regt
130 Pz Rcn En 559 Engr Bn
559 Security Co
559 Div Combat School
553 Inf Division Other Artillery Units

1119 Inf Regt 1518 Fortress Arty Bn

1120 Inf :egt 1305 Fortress Arty Bn
2112 Pz Gren Bn 1161 Arty Regt
51 Fortress Bn
Panzer Brigades
Fortress MG Battalions
102 Pz Brig
43 Fortress MG Bn 106 yz Grig
815 Fortress IG Bn
Antiaircraft Units
Su, r Heavy MG Battalions
47 AA En
805 Sup Hv MG Bn
816 Sup Hv iG En Engineer Units
817 Sup Hv MG Bn
668 Engr Bn (Mtz)
Other Units 16 GAF Engr Bn
155 Engr Bn
2107 Inf Regt
1021 Home Guard Bn
Russian Labor Bn
Niesch (work unit)
C T Rutel
C T Fangefeld
C T Scheffels
C T Dahlhausen
Einheit Runt
Enemy Units in Contact

8-9 November

559th Grenadier Division

1125 Gren Regt.................. Division zone
1126 Gren Regt..,, .... , .... ,... FORET DE CHATEAU SALINS
1127 Gren Regt.....,,........., .. Division zone
1559 Arty Regt....,., ,... .. .,...Division zone
361st Grenadier Division
952 Gren Regt....,..............,ivision zone

953 Gren Regt . . . . . .. . .. . . .,,Division zone

361 Arty Regt.....,......, , D.ivision zone
43d Fortress MG Battalion... ........ FORT DE CHATEAU SALINS

9-10 November

559th Grenad er Division

1125 Gren Regt........ ,Division zone
1126 Gren Regt....... .Division zone
1127 Gren Regt....... .Division zone
.... ,

1559 Arty Regt...,.., ,Division zone

559 Security Co....,. ,Division zone
43d Fortress kG Battalion, .LEMONC CURT
llth Panzer Division
110 Pz Gren Regt...... .,,........ Division zone
115th Engineer Eattalion.. S,,... ; .:,.Division zone

10-11 Nov ember

559 Grenadier Division

559 Engr Bn........... ....... :.. .CHTEAU SALINS
Division Combat School ... .. ,,.,.Division zone
361st Grenadier Division
951 Gren Re t......... ........ ,THI.iNVILL E
361 Engr Bn.... ,..,.. S.,,,. ,... Division zone
11th Panzer Division
110 Pz Gren Regt..... .,.... .., .FORT DE CHATEAU SALINS -
111 Pz Gren Regt.... . ,......,.FAXE - VIVIERS
11 Pz Rcnn Bn......... ......... , .~XANREY
209 Pz Ingr Bn......., ... ........ FOR T DE CHATEAU SAL INS
553d Infantir Division
1119 Inf Regt,...... .... ,BOIS L; COiPTE
1120 Inf Regt........ 99SB .,
_r - ... ,Division zone
401 Artillery Brig... .... GEBC .UCURT
155th Engineer Battalion. .. ,,.. Division zone
Russian Labor Battalion,..., ,... .. ,..Division zone
Niesch (-vork unit)......... ,.. , .., .. Division zone

3 6 1st Grena dier Division
952 Gren Regt,.. ,,. .. ... ,....Division zone
361 Engr Bn........ . .. .. .... ..Division zone
513d Infantry Division
1119 Inf Regt . , ,... . ,..... Division zone ..
11th Panzer Division
110 Psz Gren Regt .. .. ..... . . ,.. FONTNY
111 Pz Gren Regt .. . * ., ,,,. ,iTXE
11 Pz Ron Bn... .... . ... . .. Divi sion zone
277 Flak n n.,..... ., .. . .. . .,UTTIGNY
43d Fortress -G Battalion, ....... . .. Divi sion zone
51st Fortress kG Battalion Division zone ......
48th Infantry Division
401 rty Brig .. ...... .. .GCr: *ZCUkT
813 Fortress En.. . .. * Near AULNOI? SUR-SELLE
1559th Artillery Regiment,

12-13 November

3 6 1st Grena i er Division

951 Gren Regt. .- ,. 4~e 4 • .. AN S.UR NIED
953 Gren Regt....... ,. *: S., ... Division zone
4 ,.
361 Arty et....... .: .HAB OIUiNGE
553d Infantry Division
1119 Inf cegt ... ....... Division zone
1lth Panzer Division
110 Pz Gren Regt. .... i i i .,Division zone
111 Pz Gren Regt ... ... .,Division zone
209 Pz Engr n. ,. . , .. r .. Division zone
559th Grenadier Division
1126 Gron Reg .:,... 4 '. * * . . AI-{1,
:3OUD . G.
1559 arty Regt .. .

13-14 November

361st Grenadier Division

951 Gren Regt...... .. .... ...... Division zone
361 AT En............. ......... .. Division zone
553d Infantry Division
1120 Inf Regt........, ... ,.. , . . SU.I EILL
11th Panzer Division
15 Pzs :Ret. .,.. ...... "" , ".VILIERD
36th Infantry Division
268 Arty Regt ....... .......... ,Division zone
559th Grenadier Division
1125 Gren Regt.,....., ,* . i**
. Divi sion zone
43d Fortress JG Battalion. .. ,, ..... Division zone
14-15 November

361st Gr nadier Division

952 Gren Regt. ............... .. RODALE
361 Engr in.... .................. GUELLIG
11th Panzer Division
110 Gren Regt,.... ...... ......... ... .EINCHEVI LLL, LANDROFF,
111 Gren Regt .... ... ... .. ...... . .RACRA.NGE
11 Pz Rcn Bn .... .. , . . ........... MORHANG
209 Pz Engr Bn.. ., .... ......... Division zon!o

15-16 November

11th Panzer Division

110 Gren Regt . GUEBLNG

111 Gren Rgt.... ........ ........ GUELIKG

11 Pz:" cn n......., . .,*,
i...* LING
16th GAkF ngineer Battalion., ........GUELING
C T Rut el .. .................... }... GUEiLING

16-17 November

11th Panzer Division

110 Gren Reg t............. ... , .Division zone
111 Gren Regt. ..... ... .... .. . .Division zone
15 Pz Regt, ... . ..... f.., zone
209 Pz Engr EBn.............. . .Division zone
559th Grena dier Division
1126 Gren Regt., ..... , ,.., .. Division zone

559 Engr n....... ,. ........ .. Division zone

805th Super Heavy iG battalion.,. .,. Division zone
48th Infantry Division
401Art y r ig..., .......... D,:.
Division zone

. L.....
,... mbpmgetemp
11th Panzer Division
110 Gren segt.. . ... BOURGOLTROFF
..... ,,GUEBLI NG,
111 Gren Regt...,,........ .. Division zone
15 Pz Re t. ... ....... ,, ..... . .. Divi sion zone
llth Pz cn Bn................. .. Division zone
209 Pz Enr Bn.........,...... ..Division zone
559th Grenar'ier Division
1126 Gren Regt.............. S..Division zone
559 Engr n..,. ...... . Division ,,... . .. zone
805th Super Heavy ]hG Battalion..... S.Division zone
C T Rutel, .... .. . . ...... .,GUiELLING
361st Grenadier Division
952 Gren: Regt. ....... ,.. ...... .. KEPRIICH LES DIEUZE
48th Infantry Division
401 •Arty :Bri'g ... . . t,...9 .. Division zone
.. L .:. 9.. . .
98 ,. ,
18-19 November

1lth Panzer Division

110 Gren Regt. ... ,.............GUEBLANGE LES DIEUZE,
BENESTROFF, and vicinity
111 Gren Regt ........ ... ,... .. Division zone
119 Pz Arty Regt........... .. .RODALBE

19-20 November

11th Panzer Division

110 Gren Regt.........,..... S..BE TRING

111 Gren R.egt......... ..... .. \I IONT LES BENESTROFF

119 Pz Arty Regt............. .. IiMARII!ONT LBS BENESTROFF
209 Pz Engr Bn ...... ......... . .BER .RING, RODALBE
36th Infantry Division
165 Inf Regt... ... ......... *...BIST DOFF
559th Grenadier Division
1125 Gren Regt............ .
1126 Gren Regt.............
817th Super Heavy iMG Battalion... *... GUEBUI:NG

20-21 November

11th Panzer Division

111 Pz Gren Regt........ *, FRNCLTR0FF,
361st Grenadier Division
953 Gren Regt........... .,. . ,DTiUJiiZ
361 Arty Regt........ . ' BR ICK .,
559th Grenadier Division
1125 Gren Regt.......... .... VILLELS
106th Panzer rigade........ ... Division zone
1518th Fortress Artillery Bn .. ,.. .. , FRA\NCALTROFF
C T Fangefel,.............. .... BISTROFF
C T Scheffels............ . .... BISTROFF
Einheit Runt,............. .... VIRMIING

21-22 November

11th Panzer Division

110 Gren Regt .......... ... 9 V±IING
111 Gren Regt.....,.,. ....
277 Flak Sn. .... .. ... . .r.
Division Escort Co..... ..... *. 9 VIILJ ING
361 Grenadier Division
953 Gren Regt., ....... . ... ..... IUN$TE
47th Antiaircraft Battalion, .. ,, 9 , ,GUIh2,LING
22-23 November

11th Panzer Division

110 Gren Regt.................. , .LENING
111 Gren egt..... ............ ... MAi:.OT
36 1st Grenadier Division
953 Gren egt.. ....... ... .IUNSTEiL, bITTERSHEIM
361 Arty Regt......... ....... .M NSTI L
130th Panzer Lehr Division
901 Pz Gren Regt...,....... .... ,.TIEFKSLINCH
1-518th Fortress Artillery Bn.....*. G
815th Fortress LG Battalion..........;ITTERSHEIM

23-24 November

11th Panzer Division

110 Gren itegt......... ... * ... . .. Division zone
361st Grenadier Divi sion
953 Gren fiegt........... .......F S. .TN.O NGL, MUJNSTER
361 Arty iegt........ .......... MUN TEIL :
130th Panzer Lehr Division
901 Pz Gren Regt.. .... S.... *. . .TI.EFJTBACH
815th Fortress lG En...... . .. ,,.. . ,I,'TT SHEII

24-25 November

130th Panzer Lehr Division

902 Pz Gren Regt...,,...
130 AT in............. , f,0 6 lbAEVID0RF
130 Pz Rcn En........, ..
361st Grenadier Division
951 Gren Fegt:.p .... .,,.. . *.. FSNL T1ANG
952 Gren .......
953 Gren ;L:gt..........
*4444 .. . .E1 NGE
tT En,.. , .,.t. '.,.:
668th Engineer En (tz). * 4r . .... Divi.sion zone
.... ". ,,Divi.sion zone.

25-26 November

11th Panzer Division

61. AT n "n.... ............ ,
130th Panzer Lehr Division
902 ?z rean ogt,.. ... , ,.
130 AT En. ...
., .............. .b u1% D0F NIEDELST I IZEL
3 6 1st Grcnedier Division
951 Gren i egt..... .... ,.
953 Gren ]egts. .., ,., ,.., ... ".NI. 2 Q. STIN IL.
.. , , FE\ T..NKGU
668th Engine er in (MLtz)...,... 0g..Divi sLon zone

26-27 November

130th Panzer Lehr Division

902 Pz Gren regt. .. ............ Division zone

130 AT Bn, ............. .... . ... BiEREIND CR F

25th Panzer Grenadier Division
35 Pz Gren Riegt.... ............ .OSTROFF

361st .Grenadier Division

952 Gren Riegt.............. . N..NI fLSTINZEL
953 Gren egt........... ........ . VIBEE$VILLR
553d Infantry Division
1119 Inf Regt.................
816th Super Heavy KG EBn..........
1305th Armd Arty Fortress Bn..,.. _.NT

27-28 November

1lth Panzer Division

111 Pz Gren Regt ............ ..... BERTRING
25th Panzer Grenadier Division
35 Pz Cren lIegt............ ... .POSTkOFF, B ERENDORF
130th Panzer Lehr Division
901 Pz Gren Regt............ ... DU ST L, GUNGWILLER
361st'.Grenadier Division
952 Gren Regt........ ..... .., NIEDE STIN ZEL
553d Infantry Division
1119 Inf Regt ....... , ...... .NIEDE STINZEL
1305th Armd rty Fortress Bn, .. ,. ,.FET NETR ANGE
102d Panzer Arigade.,....., .... , .. .WOLFSHILCHEN

28-29 November

130th Panzer Lehr Division

901 Pz Gren Regt. ...... ..... DUFSTLL
902 Pz Gren Regt...... .. ... BERtG, DIEDENDCRF
130 AT Bn........... ... . ,.,... ,WOLFSHIRCHEN
11th Panzer Division
119 Pz lrty Regt.,....:,.....,,,PISTROFF
25th Panzer Grenadier Division
35 p z re1 Regt ... «.. ... , , .,WOLFSHIRCHEN
1161st Artillery Regiment ,.. .,,.. . .REiEING

29-30 November

130th Panzer Lehr Division

901 Pz Gren Regt ........... ,,... .. DURSTEL
902 Pz Gren Regt .......,, ,..... ^BERG
1lth Panzer Division
119 Pz Arty Regt .. ... ....... .. PISTROFF

30 -November - 1 December

130th Panzer Lehr Division

901 Pz Gren Regt., .... .. ;;
25th Panzer Grenadier Division
25 T Bn....... .......... .. , ;TIl'SDORF

.107 Pz rig... .... ...... ,RISDORF ....

1-2. December

130th Panzer Lehr Division

902 Pz Gren Regt....... ... . . .RIM SDCRF
25th Panzer Grenadier Division
35 Pz Gren Regt..... ...... .... SARJL-U \I0N
25 Pz Engr Bn........... .. .RIMSDCBF
107 Pz Brig........... ... ?... PR2LBSD0:F, JI;ICJILLER

2-3 December

130th Panzer Lehr Division

901 Pz Gren Regt,.. . . . ... ., .Rh SDO LF, SiRRIE-UNION
25th Panzer Grenadier Division
35 Pz Gren Regt.... .. , .. 4 . 1*,
11th Panzer Division
110 Pz Gren Regt.... ..... * .S&REUNION
2107th Infantry {Regiment. ,. . 4 'CI -B*.~~KILLER

3-4 December

1th Panzer Division

110 Pz Gren'Regt,;..,... .. ,. , .North of SARRE-UNION in the
southern edge of LE GRAND BOIS
11 Pz Rcn En...... .... .,.. ... L GR:'ND BOIS
111 Pz Gren Regt........... ... In woods northwest of SARRE-
25th Panzer Grenadier Division'
119 Pz Gren Regt.,.... .. *... RIUSDCRF
35 Pz Gren Regt..... ........ * u.NAT,
130th Panzer Lehr Division'
902 Pz G(ren Regt. .... , ..... .S M ON
130 Pz Arty Regt..:..,.. . ..
1021st Horme Guard Battalion..... .I.TTERING
C T Dahlhausen. ., .. ,. .. .. . ,,,. G

4-5 December

11th Panzer Division

110 Pz Gren Regt...... .... ,. .VOELLERDINGEN
111 Pz Gren Regt............ ..... DOMFESSEL
11 Pz Rcn Bin........... .... , $0,OERii:NEN
209 Pz Engr Bn.. .... .. .... ,. .VOELLERDINGEN
130th Panzer Lehr Division
902 Pz Gren Regt............... DO0MFSSEL

5-6 December

llth Panzer Division

111 Pz Gren Regt.. .......... ... DO]i;FESSEL
11 Pz Rcn 2n. ..... . ,. ....... .. OE RMINGEN
25th Panzer Grenadier Division
25 Pz ngr Bn................ .. ,Division zone

6-7 December

11th Panzer Division

110 Pz Gren Regt........... . .RAHLING
111 Pz Gren Regt,............. :.BINING
119 Pz Arty Regt............ .... HLING
61 iT Bn..................,...BINING
25th Panzer Grenadier Division
25 Pz Engr n........ ..... ... ,_ INING

7-8 December

11th Panzer Division

110 Pz Gren Regt.... ......... , .WITTRINGS ACHEN
111' P Gren Regt .. ..,, .. .. ,.EIDESHEIX
119 Pz Grty Regt.... S. , ... , ..... ACHEN
61 AT Bn .. ,..,< ., ,.. , .. ,.,:SINGLING
17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division
17 SS AT Bn......... .... . .. .. 2 .TTING

Weathe r Summary

The period covered in this summary is from 8 November 1944

until 7 December 1944, the period the 4th Armored Division was in

the line and the period covered by this report.

Fair Cloudy Cloudy Rain Snow

8 November........ X
9 November ..... X X
10 November, ,...,.. X

12 November .... ... , X

13 November. , *,. . ' X
14 November.. ....... X
15 November.,... . ' X
16 November, ....'... x
17 November ... ,,..,. i
18 November.,.. .... X
19 November, . ...... X
20 November.,..,..... '
21 November, .. , .. X X
22 November.. ,,,.. . : X
23 November,. .,..., X X
24 November, .. .. , .i.
25 November. ... . , . X .
29 November,. , ,.. . " X Xgy
27 November...., ,.... X
23 November. .,.. .. X g

2 November....,.,..
DNovember... .... .. Fg x
1 December,. p. ,. X

4 December,..,. . X
2 December ... .. ,,,. X
3 December.., ,... . x
4 December .. ,.....,
656 Decenber
;. .. ,... . X
A .' Xi

Total Days: 30 8 4 12 14 2


1. G RLN DIVISIONS. Of the eight German divisions

encountered during thi=s period, 8 November - 7 December 1944

the 11th Panzer Division and the 130th Panzer Lehr Division

provided the most stubborn .esistande, hen these divisions

came into the lines, the 8th of November and the 24th of November,

respectively, they were relatively fresh, having come from a

reserve area where they had been refitting. The 11th Panzer

Division came into the action with 40 Mark V, 20 h.ark IV tanks

and 10 tank destroyers (Fanzer-jaegers). The 130th Panzer Lehr

entered- the lines 4ith some 50 pieces of armor, new artillery

pieces, and greatly.: reinforced in antiaircraft weapons. Further,

upon the entry of the 130th Panzer Lehr Division into the battle,

it was orderd to. attack and seize -LS-CE, thus indicating its


2, ThCTICS. a. Terrain. The Germans, during this

period, utilized to the fullest- their- knowledge of the terrain,

road net, and conditions of traffic; abilifty, They were fighting

on interior lines end as long as a breakthrough was prevented,

time was provided for their forces to delay and select terrain

on which they v anted to fight.

b. Delaying action. The command of the 11th Panzer

Division adopted small unit tactics in fightin , their' delaying

action. Small groups of tanks, as sma11 as three in number,

with armored infantry, formed the teams. They would strike,

fall back, move up, and strike again- The condition of the

terrainrmay have had some bearing upon the selection of this

type of tactics. In adopting this style of fighting, the

cormanding general of the llth Panzer Division expressed himself

as follows: "In view of the enemy supremacy in the air, we had

to attack with small tank detachments. Speed, flexibility, and

surprise had to make good for the numerical an<ld material-

superiority of the enemy. (In speaking of the action in the


solely due to the tactics adopted by the division that a

breakthrough was avoided....;.Again and again he individual

armored debachmeents and groups, especially the armored personnel

carriers and the tank destroyers, first retired and then returned

to strike short, surprising, and successful blows ..... it was

possible only wciith such tactics to split up the enemy's superior

forces and prevent a breakthrough. (And in co.mmenting after the

action.) The 11th. Panzer Division considers itself justified in

its belief that its flexible mode of 'cavalry' tactics, which

were mastered .'1 its small and even smallest 'elements, contributed

in decisive measure to its successes in against an enemy

superior both in numbers and in equipment."

c. Breakthrough Vith the capture of RODALBE on the

12th of November, a complete penetration of the German lines was

made. hether. this tactical condition was known to Amer,ican

commanders is not known, but this break in the G..rman lines

provided one chance for an exploitation, It 'was due to this

break that the lllth Panzer Grenadier Regiment, plus other

elements, attacked and retook RODALBE late in the afternoon of

12 November and reestablished a line of continuous contact,,

NOTE: All information contained in Annex II was obtained from

the follow~ing publications:

After Action -epor.t, XII Corps, G-2 Periodic Reports

No's, 82, 89, 91, 93, 97 and 98.

After Action Report, XII Corps, G-2 Summary for the

Period 1-30 Novemrber 1944.

After action Report, 4th Armored Division G-2 Periodic

Report No. 234.'

Gen Lt -;end Von i.etersheim, "The iaployment of the

11th Panzsr Division in Lorrainae Rihola.
1 . 1 Part II,
(Entire Report).

After Action reports for the period 8 Novemiber 194. to

8 Dec embel 1944.-



The follovwig vehicle losses, captured -weapons, and

ammunition expenditures were reported for the period 9 November -

7 December 191.44


36 RMedium tanks
10 Liaht tanks
2 105- rmm Howitzer .7 motor carriages
3 75-ma Howitzer M8 motor carriages
2 76-mm Gun M18
33 Personnel carriers, ,half-track
61 1/4L.-on trucks
3 3/4-ton trucks
6 Ambulance s
1 1-1/2--ton truck
1 2-1/2-ton trucks


5 jk V I Tanks 88-am tov ed AT guns

5 Mk V tanks 75-mm towed AT guns
6 Mk IV tanks AT guns (various calibers)
45 Tanh s (unknown t pe s) 40-rmn A. guns
-8 S assault guns 75-mm towed howitzers
6 75-mni SP AT guns ir tillery pieces
5 Prime movers 20-mm A% guns
9 Half-tracks Truck
2 a.rmored cars Assorted vehicles

i.1..s'UNITI ON LX.P

105-1am 43,577 rounds

7 6 -mm -1,746
75-nm 10,054
75- mm . o
oi 1,:354
57-mm 832
37--mrm 2,040
Carbine 16,5,000
1i ne s 365
Rockets 3-,320
81-mm mortar 1,937
60-mm mortar 2,398
Caliber ,30 1,236,763
4th Armored Division G-3 Journal